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Community comes together after fire at Glendale senior center

Fire at Tanner Terrace Apartments in Glendale
Posted at 10:06 PM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-20 07:30:26-04

GLENDALE, AZ — It was a scary situation for residents living at a Glendale senior center Monday when a fire sparked at the facility near 45th and Glendale avenues.

"I said, 'Hey, this place is on fire. Let's go,'" says Anita Estrada, a resident at Tanner Terrace.

Glendale Fire Department says flames sparked in the kitchen of a unit on the first floor of one of the buildings. Crews were able to evacuate everyone out of the building. Then, neighbors began to comfort each other.

"We had people bringing down bottled water and snacks for their neighbors. That was really heartwarming to see that everybody was trying to step up and pitch in to help our neighbors," says Sharon McCurdy, who lives at Tanner Terrace.

McCurdy says she was making sure people knew what was going on. The water and smoke damage left nearly 45 people without a place to stay.

The Red Cross and apartment management helped pay for hotel rooms for each one of them until they can return.

"I thank the Lord for that," says Estrada.

"They arranged transportation. Their meals are going to be taken care of while they're at the hotel," says McCurdy.

The Red Cross is evaluating everyone's specific needs since most residents are either senior citizens or have disabilities.

"We calm them down, we say, 'we're here to help, everything is going to be okay.' Set you up in a place to stay, shelter, food, clothing, if they need that, and make sure their prescriptions are handy for them too," says Jim Gilloon, the Regional Communication Manager for the American Red Cross of Greater Phoenix.

Fire crews escorted some residents to get their necessities, while others are just happy they made it out alive.

"Yes, I did and I'm standing here to tell you I'm going to fight until the very last second," says Estrada.

The cause of the fire is unclear. Apartment management will be meeting with a building inspector Wednesday to find out when residents can safely return.