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Updated Jun 20, 2014 - 7:17 am

Fire overwhelms Phoenix house, family escapes

(Photo/Sandra Jolly)

PHOENIX -- An early morning fire Friday destroyed a Phoenix home and threatened another before a fire crew got it under control.

The family of five escaped without serious injury. One person at the home, on 23rd Avenue just south of Thunderbird Road, went to the hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

Crews from Glendale and Phoenix fire departments battled the blaze for a couple of hours.

Witnesses said the house turned into a fireball as the house, cars and an RV went up in flames. Tall pines and palm trees burned as well. Embers were landing as far away as 300 feet.

Neighbor James Lawrence said embers were falling like snow in his yard. He hosed down his roof as a precaution.

Sandra Jolly, who lives next door, said the trees looked like Roman candles. She thought she was going to lose her home.

"We went to get my daughter's shoes in her room and it was so hot we couldn't get in there. Her room was hot, hot. I didn't know how close the fire was and we got out. My daughter is shaking and worried about the neighbors," Jolly said.

Fire investigators are combing through the rubble trying to pinpoint the cause.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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