More Than 100 Arizona Firefighters Battle Apartment Blaze

A five-alarm blaze broke out Saturday at an apartment complex under construction just outside Phoenix. More than 60 families and the surrounding neighborhood were evacuated. Photo from Gilbert Fire Department.

The evacuation order for those living in the surrounding neighborhood was lifted just before midnight, though people living in Legacy Village Apartments will remain under an evacuation order until further notice.

GILBERT, Ariz., April 24 (UPI) — More than 100 firefighters battled a massive blaze at an apartment complex under construction just outside Phoenix Saturday, prompting a major evacuation order for nearby homes and businesses.

Gilbert firefighters said people living along the nearby intersection of Civic Center Drive to Nunnely to Devon were evacuated, ABC 15 reported..

High winds fueled the five-alarm fire, officials said, which spread to nearby homes.

Three police officers were treated for smoke inhalation and one firefighter was treated for minor burns.

CBS KPHO reported an evacuation center was set up at the Public Safety Complex Amphitheater.

The American Red Cross reported that seven volunteers were on the scene assisting 60 people who had been displaced by the fire.

The Broadstone Gilbert Heritage apartment complex, which was planned to have several hundred units, was being framed and the wood provided quick fuel for the fire, Gilbert fire officials said.

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Flames and smoke could reportedly be seen for miles. The fire was so large it was also detected on weather radar, the National Weather Service tweeted.

Evacuated residents were concerned for the well being of their pets.

Greg Quinn said he and his wife were away from home shopping when police kicked down his apartment door. Quinn’s two dogs were inside the apartment at the time. He and his wife learned about the fire, but were unable to get back to their home to check on their animals.

“We were all worried… trying to remain calm,” Quinn said. He learned later that a good samaritan had scooped up the dogs, and later brought them to the evacuee shelter at the Gilbert police station, Quinn said.


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