Fire chars condemned apartment complex
For the fifth time in the past year, firefighters from the Somerton/Cocopah Fire Department were called out to an abandoned apartment complex to put out a fire in one of the units.
Fire Chief Paul De Anda said that the fire was reported at approximately 7:33 a.m., Sunday with firefighters responding to 146 E. Spring in Somerton.
When firefighters arrived at the single-story brick built complex, they found heavy flames and smoke showing in one of the duplexes. De Anda said the fire had moved quickly and had already spread to the attic.
“The fire was in a duplex and fully involved when we arrived. Everything inside was on fire,” De Anda said. “Our guys were able to put it out before it reached the other side.”
The fire was knocked down in approximately 10 minutes De Anda said, after which crews remained on scene to put out any hot spots and prevent any rekindling of the fire.
The duplex apartment is one of 15 apartments in a small complex that had been condemned. Unsafe living conditions at the complex prompted city officials to condemn the buildings last year.
Despite having been condemned, the apartment was still considered safe enough for firefighters to enter the building and fight the fire from the inside.
De Anda said the cause of all five of the fires at the dilapidated complex is most likely the result of arson, being that it is no longer connected to electricity or natural gas. He added that two of the five previous fires happened while apartments at the complex were still occupied.
The Somerton Police Department currently is investigating and have identified some individuals of interest in these fires.
SOMERTON/COCOPAH FIREFIGHTERS RESPONDED TO A FIRE IN A DUPLEX at a condemned apartment complex early Sunday morning. The cause of the fire is believed to have been arson and is under investigation by Somerton police.