Valley family lucky to be alive after fire destroys home

- It was just after 2:30 a.m. this morning when the house next door to Terra Coldwater's was engulfed in flames.

"I heard my husband open the front door, he started waking everyone up," she said.

The Coldwaters and their two young children were evacuated as a precaution because of the intense flames that were swallowing their neighbor's house. Terra snapped photos of the flames from across the street as she watched in terror.

"It looked like the cars were on fire, I guess it started in the garage, spread to the cars, maybe 10 minutes later [the] whole house started catching on fire," she said.

Avondale Fire Battalion Chief Justin Ernst said knowing the family of five made it out on their own and was safe, that it was too dangerous to send crews into the burning home, so they fought the fire from the outside and used a ladder truck to make sure it didn't spread.

"It was fully involved upon arrival, so we had flames coming all along the roof line," he said. "When we have a fire has fully enrolled, we worry about catching the houses next to it, so we focus on containing it to the structure that was originally involved."

The family received assistance from a crisis team.

"We're friends, I feel awful for them because I know their house is gone," Terra said. "I was worried up my house going up. It was very scary."

By sun up as crews boarded the home, the devastation was even more obvious as was the relief that everyone made it out alive.

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