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After central Phoenix fire, homeowners wonder what's next?

A fire near 16th Street and McDowell Road displaced at least 20 people Tuesday. Some lost their homes.

PHOENIX — In a matter of moments, Troy Reed lost his home.

A wind-fueled fire pushed along Oak Street just north of McDowell Road, burning down multiple properties.

According to the Phoenix Fire Department, approximately 150 firefighters and 50+ units were called to fight the huge blaze.  

Reed said everything happened really fast.

“When the fire hit, I barely made it," Reed said. “By the time I got to the street from the house, all of this was gone. It was just that quick.”

Reed returned to his home on Wednesday. His car sat melted and his home is now a mix of charred rubble.

"All my money, anything that I had, everything that I had is in there, everything. All my documents important papers, birth certificates, everything, just everything," Reed said.

Reed's family is thankfully safe, but they will have to figure out where to live before working with insurance to get them the help they need.

“What do we do from here? The way the economy’s going, the way housing is going, you know, where am I going to put my kids?” he said.

The fire department said the fire was helped along by conditions like dry brush and the weather.

“The wind was a major factor," said Phoenix Fire Department Captain Todd Keller.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Keller said the fire acted like a brush fire you might see outside the metro area.

However, the fire can be a reminder that even in the city, it is a good idea to practice fire prevention habits around your home.

“Put 30 feet of defensible space around your home. Get rid of this dry vegetation, this dead trees. So that if it does ignite, it doesn’t spread to your house,” said Keller.


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