Investigation Begins into 5-Alarm Gilbert Fire
The smoldering ruins of an apartment building project are all that is left after a five alarm fire fought by more than a hundred firefighters near Gilbert and Warner roads Saturday. The combination of dry building materials and wind created the perfect condition for a major fire.
Local residents who were witness to the fire explained the horrific site, which was a wall of fire and destruction right across from their homes. Due to the severity of the flames, officials said many of these homes will have damage due to the smoke, or water or electrical damage due to the attempts to contain and extinguish the fire.
Firefighters said the blaze was hot enough to melt a portion of the road. Area residents reported cracked windows, melted outdoor furniture, and disturbingly hot temperatures coming from the pavement.
Art Wirtz, who spent four decade fighting fires for the US Forest Service said gave the following statement:
“It’s pretty scary when you’re in your family room and all of the sudden your wife says, ‘Come here, you gotta see this’ and she runs through the house… We got outside and the radiant heat from the fire just hits you like a wall. Our house is about three houses down from the intersection with the main fire, so the radiant heat was pretty hot.”
A section of Civic drive is the center of the investigation and is still closed.