Phoenix firefighters seeing increase in structure fires as temperatures rise

May 21, 2020, 4:35 AM
(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)...
(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)
(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)

PHOENIX — As temperatures rise in Phoenix, so do the amount of structure fires.

The Phoenix Fire Department reported a busy week with multiple house fires dating back to Sunday.

Heat has proven itself to be a fire starter in the Valley, which can already been seen in its destruction in this year’s brush fire season.

However, the surge of house fires Phoenix firefighters have seen this week have no other reoccurring signs.

Phoenix Fire Capt. Rob McDade described the fires this week to be a mixed bag, including things like arson, faulty wiring and abandoned buildings. The warmer temperatures just added more fuel to those dangerous situations.

“Our fire crews have just been really busy around the clock, some fire stations getting multiple fires in one shift,” McDade said. “There’s really no rhyme or reason to it, but our folks have been very busy putting out fires.”

Shortly after 4 a.m. Wednesday, Phoenix and Glendale firefighters worked together to extinguish a fire that started in a laundry room of a home near 43rd and Glendale avenues. There were no reported injuries, but eleven people were displaced from the home, including seven children.

Roughly four hours later, Phoenix firefighters responded to a 911 call after flames were reported coming through a roof of a home near 83rd Avenue and Indian School Road. Crews arrived to find a two-story house full of flames in addition to a broken gas line. The fire in the West Valley displaced four people from their home.

No injuries were reported for citizens or firefighters and both fires remain under investigation. A Crisis Response Team along with the Red Cross assisted the families with housing and other needs.

The Phoenix Fire Department encourages homeowners to cut back any shrubbery around their house that could serve as flammable material. In addition, they recommend cleaning out garages and sheds that may house any combustible liquids.

“We had a fire the other day that started in an exterior shed and moved along the fence and did make its way into the home,” McDade said.

Hot attics in Phoenix also pose a threat to many. The confined air space can get hot with plenty of oxygen creating a perfect environment for a fire to start and grow.

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Phoenix firefighters seeing increase in structure fires as temperatures rise