Overnight fire at Valley senior home leaves man in critical condition

A man is in critical condition tonight after a fire broke out in a senior living facility in Phoenix. The fire started on the ninth floor of the high-rise building early this morning. Dozens of people were evacuated as nearly 100 firefighters rushed to the scene to make sure the fire didn't spread to other floors. 

Video from the Phoenix Fire Department shows two firefighters used a chair to rescue a man from the Fellowship Towers near Indian School Road and Central Avenue around 12:45 this morning.

"When they did arrive on scene, there was nothing on the outside," said Capt. Benjamin Santillan with the Phoenix Fire Department. "But when they actually encountered and went inside the building, they started to see some smoke."

The building is a 17-story high-rise senior living facility with 180 apartments. This was a second alarm fire with about 100 firefighters on scene. Due to the size of the building and the amount of people living here, about 50 people were unable to get out on their own.

"Biggest thing was, hey do we shelter in place, do we evacuate all of these individual people, how big is this," Santillan said.

The fire broke out on the ninth floor, and that floor was evacuated as crews worked to put out the flames and look for victims.

"On that fire floor, they did encounter some fire," said Santillan. "Luckily there [were] some sprinklers that activated. We did find one victim; a 70-year-old male, firefighters did pull him and he's in critical condition right now."

Fortunately for everyone involved, Phoenix firefighters are very familiar with the building because they use it frequently for training exercises.

"This is always alarming, because like I mentioned, there's a lot of people in this building," Santillan said. "So we need additional resources."

Once the scene was cleared around 4:00 a.m., fire crews helped residents back into their rooms. Right now, the cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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