Phoenix families still without homes nearly 2 months after apartment fire

One woman says the apartment was her home for years and she didn't have rental insurance.
Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 7:15 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Several families are still out of their homes nearly two months after a massive fire at a Phoenix apartment complex. Firefighters are still investigating the fire’s cause and encouraging families to be cautious using space heaters. The heaters are tied to many fires as the Valley is seeing cold overnight lows.

Jocelyn Walton is among the families who lost their home in the fire near 27th Avenue and Bethany Home Road on Oct 19. The morning of the fire, she found out her grandfather died in the hospital. Walton said she wanted to mourn the loss of her grandfather, so she went outside to get some air. That’s when she saw the flames outside her apartment. “A fire started at the unit right below me,” she said. “The smoke was so thick, we could not see the white building.”

The stay-at-home mother says she started alerting her neighbors as the fire began spreading from the first floor to the third floor. “I ran up and down going to each floor banging on each door and window, screaming for people to get out,” she said. Jalous Crummer, Walton’s next-door neighbor, heard Walton’s screams. “I hear ‘fire fire fire,’” said Crummer. “She didn’t have to do that; let everyone know.”

Walton’s apartment, her home for many years, is destroyed. She says she didn’t have any rental insurance. Currently, a relative has given her a roof over her head as she gets back on her feet. “My whole thing is, I’m happy I have my life and everyone else has their life, and I think that’s where it starts and stops,” she said.

Walton started a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for her and her daughter. Tap/click here if you would like to donate.