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Fire destroys Ahwatukee home

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Posted: Friday, March 15, 2013 12:19 pm

A massive fire moved quickly through a home in the Summerhill neighborhood in Ahwatukee Foothills late Thursday night.

The family was on vacation at the time of the fire.

Chief Chris Ketterer with the Phoenix Fire Department said they received a call about the fire around 11:30 p.m. on March 14. Some teens in a nearby subdivision, Lance Pavlina, Dominic Williams and Landon Sabori, all 17, were in a back yard when they heard a loud bang and saw bright light coming from the garage of the home on 1st St.

“They ran to the street and knocked on the doors on either side of the involved home to wake those people up,” Ketterer said. “They told them the home was on fire, just in case it extends to their home. It did not, but it was a smart thing for those individuals to do.”

Ketterer said crews arrived in seven minutes and could see flames inside the garage of the home. The fire captain went into the main front door and there was no fire or smoke on the inside of the home when crews arrived, but flames spread quickly through the garage into the attic. The roof of the home eventually collapsed.

At least 30 firefighters fought the fire. None were injured.

Within 11 minutes of arriving fire crews went on the defensive. The home was destroyed by the flames, including two cars parked in the garage.

“The investigators are just now getting into the structure,” Ketterer said. “We do not know an estimated dollar value lost yet, but we will have more as they continue their investigation.”

Ketterer said there are reports of an animal living at the home, but historically when the family leaves they take their pet with them or kennel the animal. There was no evidence that the pet may have been in the home at the time of the fire.

Neighbors said they didn’t hear any explosion until they were outside their home. They were grateful for the teens that woke them up and shocked by the damage that can be seen from the street this morning.

“My teenager came home from a friend’s and said, ‘I hear an alarm and I think I see smoke,’” said Stephanie Rewis, who lives around the corner from the home. “I went outside in my pajamas figuring it was a false alarm, but then in the dark I thought I saw a little bit of something. As I walked up I could see there was definitely smoke.”

Neighbors living closest to the home involved were evacuated until around 3 a.m. The fire did not spread to any other homes in the neighborhood.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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