YUMA, Ariz. - Thirteen people are now without a home following an apartment fire just before 11:30 p.m. Thursday.
According to the Yuma Fire Department, fire crews arrived on scene and found smoke coming from the roof of an apartment at 2830 South 1st Avenue. The apartment was one of a group of four connected apartments. Flames were seen coming from a bathroom and firefighters found that the fire had already spread into the attic area.
One resident of the apartment complex explained the scene.
"They evacuated the whole community right here. These units. These units and then the other units as well. They made everybody stay out and stay clear of the fire," said David Madearis, resident. "Especially when there's a baby in the house and there's a fire. I mean it's really dangerous."
Firefighters extinguished the fire before it could spread from the attic areas already burning and into the living spaces of the other apartments.
YFD said the fire began in the area of the bathroom exhaust/ventilation fan and spread from there into the attic area, dropping burning debris into the bathroom. Fire damage in the living spaces of the apartment was contained to the bathroom but significant damage was done to the attic areas of this and an adjacent apartment.
All residents were able to safely evacuate and no injuries were reported, fire officials said. All four apartments had their power shut down and authorities said this was the second bathroom fan fire reported Thursday.
13 people that include seven adults and six children were displaced, according to the American Red Cross who was on the scene assisting families early Friday morning.
YFD offered this advice to ensure this does not happen to you.
“With the bathroom exhaust and ventilation fans, making sure you keep up with your maintenance. Those are things that need to be cleaned periodically, to keep lint or other things from building up. Making sure that you don’t leave it running. Some people use it as background noise and it is not a good one,” explained Mike Erfert, Yuma Fire public information officer.