Crews fight eastside apartment blaze

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Rural/Metro Fire crews battled an apartment fire on the eastside Tuesday.

Chief John Walka said the call came in at 6:15 a.m. at Hilands Apartment Homes at 5755 E. River Road. The fire started on the first floor and spread to the second, causing smoke damage on the third. No one was injured.

Frank Armendarez lives in the building he says he was awake but didn’t know there was a fire until someone pounded on his door. "If nobody had banged on the door I may have stayed in there and it probably had been a lot worse," he said.

Armendarez, a local filmmaker, grabbed his computer and hard drives and rushed outside, “It is a really weird experience,” he said. “It is different when you're standing there watching it happen and you can smell the smoke and see the flames.”

The two-alarm blaze called for 11 crews with 27 firefighters. They had the fire under control within 20 minutes.

The Red Cross is assisting residents of between 10 and 15 units who need places to stay.

The cause is under investigation.

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