Phoenix families scrambling to pick up the pieces after fire rips through apartment complex

Red Cross opens shelter for those displaced after the apartment fire. The Phoenix Fire Department is investigating to find out what caused the fire.
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 5:52 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The Red Cross says 80 people have been forced from their homes after a fire broke out at an apartment complex in Phoenix Thursday night.

“We still don’t know the complete assessment of the damage. We know there were 33 apartments involved, we don’t know which ones are destroyed and which ones people might come home to today or tomorrow, so the situation is totally fluid right now,” said Ken Edelblute, the Red Cross Sheltering Manager.

On Friday, groups of residents made it into their apartments for the first time since the flames ravaged their home. Odilia Ruiz tells us she was one of the many who will not stay at the Cinnabar Apartments near Cave Creek Road and Cinnabar Avenue. She says it’s not because she doesn’t want to but because there is nothing left of the apartment she and her family have been calling home for nearly four years. “My apartment burned to the ground,” Ruiz said.

She told us a box of pots and pans was all she managed to save. Now she’s hoping someone can help. “A little bit of everything because we basically lost everything,” she said. She said she paid her rent on the first of the month and is hoping the landlord will return her money so she can find another apartment.

Out of 80 people forced out last night, eight stayed at the Deer Valley Community Center, where the Red Cross set up an emergency shelter. “There are people who just have no where to go. Usually they have limited mobility, they have no family in the area. A lot of them outlived a lot of their family, some of them have animals and a lot of them don’t want to wander too far away from their possessions,” Edelblute said.

The Red Cross will be available over the weekend to help find temporary housing for those who don’t have a place to stay. The Phoenix Fire Department is still working to find out what caused the fire.