Neighbors try to save woman from deadly fire


by Catherine Holland

Video report by Jill Galus

Posted on October 22, 2013 at 6:47 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 8:29 AM

Map: Central and Southern

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PHOENIX – A woman reportedly was killed in an early morning apartment fire in Phoenix.

Dozens of fire units were called out to the Paradise Palms 2 apartments near Central and Southern avenues at about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. The fire was in a second-floor unit.

According to Phoenix fire Capt. Tony Muir, several neighbors tried to save the woman.

"There was a tremendous effort by the people that reside here," he said.

The minute the neighbors heard the alarms and saw the glow of the fire, they realized what was happening and jumped into action, not even thinking about their own safety.

One person used a rock to break the front window. Other people grabbed fire extinguishers and tried to knock down the flames while still others pried open a locked security door to get to the woman. They had spotted her on the floor by the front door.

"She was at the door, on fire," Manuel Soto said. "She was already burned."

One of the rescuers said the woman was talking to him as he and the others tried desperately to save her. They finally were able to drag her out of the burning apartment. Once she was out, paramedics took over, doing everything they could.

Despite the neighbors' and paramedics' efforts, the woman died.

The victim has not been identified.

While the fire gutted the woman's apartment, damage to adjacent units was minimal. No other injuries were reported.

Investigators have not determined what sparked the fire.

Phoenix fire Capt. Tony Muir talks about neighbors' heroic efforts