10 people displaced by Phoenix apartment fire, dog wakes up family inside apartment

PHOENIX - The Red Cross is helping 10 people who are out of their homes after an early morning fire at a Phoenix apartment complex. One family says their dog may have saved their lives.

"Princess" started barking shortly after midnight.

"She terrified us," Charlie Fierro, 15, said. "My parents woke up because of her barking."

Turns out, the apartment next door was on fire and quickly spreading into Fierro's home. Fierro says he heard a high-pitched scream from his mother.

"They ran out but they forgot about me sleeping. My dad ran back and broke down the door, woke me up," Fierro said. "I saw flames in my face. I actually ran through flames. The flames caught through the door. I was probably six inches away from catching on fire," he said.

The fire started in a second-floor unit, adjacent to Fierro's apartment. The building is located near 43rd Avenue and Thomas Road.

Fierro said his unit did not have working smoke detectors and he was grateful that his Princess woke them up.

"It could've been worse," Franklin Jackson Jr. said. Jackson lives in the unit below Fierro's apartment.

Four apartments were affected. Two of them had water damage.

Jackson said he was home with his younger brother. He was getting ready for bed when he heard glass breaking and thought there was an intruder.

"I grabbed my stick go out to knock out the person.  Next thing, I see an ember fall in front of me. I stepped out, I looked up. Flames going from left to right," he said.  "Seriously intense. Man, it could've been worse for us."

Jackson said the flames were moving fast and, in seconds, spread to the Fierro's apartment. Jackson said he called for his brother and started rushing to the neighbors' apartments.

"I'm in security mode.  I go around, bang on everyone's door. 'There's a fire. There's a fire.' I'm worried about everyone," Jackson, who works as a security guard, said.

Firefighters were called and put out the fire before it spread to any other homes. 

The Red Cross arrived shortly after to give displaced tenants basic supplies. A spokesperson said nobody needed temporary shelter. 

Fierro's family went to stay with relatives. Jackson, and the third family affected, were given access to other units.

An ABC15 crew on scene saw one tenant being treated in an ambulance. Neighbors say the woman is eight months pregnant. She was taken to the hospital. The woman's daughter said she was doing fine but didn't feel well.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

A woman at the apartment, who handed out keys to displaced tenants, said she was told they didn't have smoke detectors and would talk to the manager about it.

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