Raw video: Witness describes terrifying apartment fire

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 3:44 PM

PHOENIX -- More than a dozen people will have to find a new place to live after an early morning apartment fire in Phoenix.

It happened just after 5 a.m. near 22nd Avenue and Camelback Road. Firefighters arrived on the scene to find a first-floor unit fully engulfed in flames.

Resident Phillip Curtis, who lives across the hall from the burning unit, heard something outside his home and immediately jumped into action to get his family out.

"I'm beating on the door. I'm beating!" he said. "After that, everybody got up. They're looking at me like I'm on crack."

Everybody got out safely.

Residents told firefighters that somebody was shot and killed three days ago inside the apartment that caught fire. They also said the people living there had left.

"What they're telling us is that everybody is wanting to leave this area because of things of this nature," Phoenix Fire Capt. Troy Caskey said.

Phoenix police said they have no information about a recent shooting at the apartment. They also said the last time they responded to that address was several months ago.

While fire crews contained the bulk of the fire damage to the one apartment, there was heavy smoke in nearby units.

Thirteen people were displaced by the fire. The Red Cross is helping those people.

It's not yet known what sparked the fire in the supposedly empty apartment, but firefighters know it started in a bedroom.

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