Apr 30, 2013 12:21 PM by Faye DeHoff

Apartment fire on southside leaves six residents homeless

TUCSON - We have an update on an apartment fire this morning on the southside that left six people needing help.

The fire damaged several apartments in the 300 block of West Irvington Road, causing several people to be treated for smoke inhalation. The fire was started by an electrical malfunction involving a refrigerator being plugged into an extension cord.

Fifteen calls were made to 9-1-1 to report smoke and flames coming from the complex. The first Tucson Fire Department unit arrived four minutes after being dispatched and reported heavy smoke and flames showing. They immediately pulled hose lines to begin extinguishing the flames and trying to prevent the fire from spreading. Additional crews arrived on scene and helped with evacuation efforts from the apartment building, consisting of five units, as well as pulling additional hose lines to extinguish the fire. The ladder crew on scene went to the roof and cut a hole with chainsaws to help alleviate the high temperatures inside by allowing the smoke to escape.

Multiple people were treated on scene for smoke inhalation but didn't require transportation to the hospital. One person was transported to the hospital for further medical evaluation, but that person didn't live in the building that was damaged. A total of five units were condemned by City of Tucson Building Safety with six people requiring assistance from Red Cross. Two vehicles in the parking lot were also damaged from the high temperatures.

Nine units and 25 firefighters controlled the fire 12 minutes after arriving on scene. There were no injuries to firefighters. The fire began on the back porch of the southern- most unit where a refrigerator was plugged into an extension cord. No estimate yet on the amount of damage.

Safety Message: More than half of residential fire deaths occur in fires that start between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Several people were treated for smoke inhalation on scene and smoke inhalation is the number one cause of death related to fire. Get out as quickly as possible and never go back in.

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