Several Tucson families displaced after Tuesday morning apartment fire

2013-12-31T14:23:00Z 2013-12-31T14:23:15Z Several Tucson families displaced after Tuesday morning apartment fireKimberly Matas Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Several families were displaced after an apartment fire on Tucson’s west side Tuesday morning.

At about 9:35 a.m. a man living in an apartment in the 1600 block of West El Rio Drive north of the El Rio Golf Course was awakened by the sound of a smoke detector.

“He was awakened by smoke alarm going off. There was smoke everywhere,” Capt. Barrett Baker, spokesman for the Tucson Fire Department, said. “He was able to get out safely.”

Fire crews saw heavy smoke coming from the apartment when they pulled up to the complex, Baker said. It took about four minutes to extinguish the fire. High-powered fans were used to rid the complex of residual smoke after the fire was extinguished.

Though the fire was confined to one apartment, “damage to electrical components of the building have forced the families to be displaced until repairs can be made,” he said.

In total, eight units and 21 firefighters were dispatched to the scene.

The fire started in the kitchen due to an electrical malfunction, Baker said, but an estimate of damages was not available.

“The resident was awakened by a smoke alarm. This could have saved his life by giving him the chance to escape before the smoke or flames progressed further,” said Baker, who suggested everyone check the batteries in their smoke detectors to make sure they are working.

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