Firefighters battle blistering apartment fire with no smoke alarm
CREATED Mar. 10, 2013
Web Producer: Taylor Higgins
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Firefighters battled an apartment fire in midtown and found that the occupants of the burning unit had removed their smoke alarm.
Capt. Jeff Langejans with the Tucson Fire Department says crews responded to the 2900 block of east 6th Street for an apartment fire that started on the back patio of a unit just after 10:00 a.m. Saturday.
Langejans tells KGUN9 that once on scene crews noticed heavy black smoke and fire coming from the balcony of a second-story unit.
Firefighters began attacking the fire while also searching for occupants within the unit, Langejans said.
Crews learned that the fire was spreading into the attic space so they cut a hole in the roof to allow smoke to escape, thus cooling the fire.
The occupants, two adults and a dog, were able to escape the fire without injury, and firefighters evacuated nearby units to ensure everyone's safety, according to Langejans.
The apartment is currently uninhabitable, but the occupants don't need assistance from The Red Cross at this time, Langejans said.
The cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation.
Langejans says the occupants had removed the smoke alarm in their unit because it was too sensitive. He adds that sixty-five percent of all home fire deaths occur where there is no smoke alarm or where the smoke alarm is non-functional.
In the United States, approximately 3000 people die each year in residential fires, Langejans continued. This fire incident could have had tragic results had it started while the occupants were sleeping.
KGUN 9 On Your Side will have more on this story as it continues to develop. Stay with us.