PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The property manager of Phoenix apartment building that caught fire is thankful to be alive after he says a resident pulled a knife on him. 

That resident has been identified as John Gopher.


Apartment fire at 15th Avenue and Hatcher

The tense moments unfolded Friday morning in the Sunnyslope area near 15th Avenue and Hatcher Road in Phoenix.

[FIRST STORY: One person in custody after apartment fire in Phoenix]

Mark Campbell said he was knocking on doors and making his morning rounds to check in on residents when things suddenly turned violent.

Campbell said he was able to get inside the suspect's apartment.

He then realized the suspect had barricaded himself in a bedroom. 

"I smelled smoke so I kicked the door in and attempted to put it out," Campbell said.

"I don’t know what’s going on with him, but he set the room on fire," he continued. "I tried to put the fire out and he attacked me."

Campbell forced his way inside the bedroom to find flames shooting out of the suspect's bed. He said the suspect then pulled a knife on him and held it by his neck. 

"He told me to be quiet," said Campbell.

He said the attack felt like it went on for about 10 minutes. 


The Arizona Red Cross is helping displaced residents with a temporary place to stay.

The Arizona Red Cross is helping displaced residents with a temporary place to stay. 

Phoenix police have not confirmed whether the suspect started the fire, the cause of which is under investigation.


Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



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