Fire at home packed with stuff tricky for firefighters


by Catherine Holland

Video report by Ryan O'Donnell

Posted on April 25, 2013 at 6:37 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 29 at 9:44 PM

Map: 34th Ave. & Missouri

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PHOENIX -- Investigators are trying to determine what sparked a fire at a Phoenix home packed with furniture and other items.

Firefighters were called to the neighborhood of 34th and Missouri avenues at about 2 a.m. Thursday after a Phoenix police officer on patrol one street over spotted smoke billowing from the home.

Video from the scene showed stuff piled nearly to the roof in the carport.

Firefighters say the home was packed, as well, so much so that they had to crawl in through the windows because they could not get in through the front door. Once inside, they had very little room to move around. They were forced to crawl around all of the furniture.

Firefighters said the flames were mostly in the back of the house, but they did jump into the attic.

A neighbor told 3TV's Ryan O'Donnell that nobody had lived in the home for about five years when the owner left the house to her daughter. That woman has been using it for storage.

"You have a lot of rights as a property owner to [decide] what you have inside your house, but it's just dangerous," Capt. Tony Mure of the Phoenix Fire Department said. "If you're using it for storage, … the potential fire is dangerous to the neighborhood, and obviously, it's very horrible living conditions if somebody was living in there at one time."

While the situation was extremely dangerous for firefighters, no injuries were reported.

At this point, it's not clear what sparked the fire. It's not known if the house had electricity. Investigators expected to return to the scene later in the day.