TFD: Two dogs survive Midtown apartment blaze started by cigarette
Two dogs, Angel and Toby, were rescued from a Midtown apartment fire Monday that was caused by a smoldering cigarette, authorities said.
Twenty-three firefighters controlled the blaze within five minutes of arriving, a Tucson Fire Department spokesman said.
Two residents, who were not home when the fire broke out, were displaced, Capt. Barret Baker said.
At about 3:30 p.m. firefighters responded to several 911 calls about an apartment fire or heavy black smoke in the area southwest of Grant and Swan roads, Baker said. When they arrived they found a balcony engulfed in flames with fire moving toward the living quarters of the upstairs apartment in the 2200 block of North Ralph Avenue.
The crew pulled a hose line to the ground-floor staircase and sprayed water in through a window and off the apartment ceiling — a technique which mimics a sprinkler system — before entering the apartment and extinguishing the remaining flames, said Baker.
Meanwhile, a second crew used another hose line to put out a tree and patio that were also on fire.
Firefighters found Angel while they were performing a search. She broke free while they attempted to walk her out, but was found a short time later.
The crew found another dog, Toby, taking shelter under a bed. He was carried outside and reunited with his owner who had returned while firefighters were still at the scene, Baker said.
Neither dog was harmed and Toby seemed unfazed by his misadventure, said Baker. The dog was drinking water and visiting with firefighters shortly after his rescue, but Angel was shy after her experience.
The owner said that despite losing his home he was extremely happy to find his dogs unharmed, Baker said.
As of Monday afternoon, it had not been determined if the downstairs apartment was inhabitable, he said. The man and woman who lived in the upstairs apartment will be staying with family and did not require assistance from the Red Cross.