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Family, pup escape apartment fire sparked by an unattended candle

PHOENIX — A fire caused by an unattended candle damaged a Phoenix apartment Tuesday, but a family and their puppy escaped safely, Jackson County Fire District No. 5 officials said.

A 9-1-1 call just before 7 a.m. summoned firefighters to a triplex in the 200 block of Twins Circle, in Phoenix. The caller reported that a candle had started a couch on fire and he was dragging the couch outside, District 5 engineer Brian Bolstad said.

Outside, flames from the couch licked up the wall and scorched the building's eaves, Bolstad said.

He said the resident who pulled the couch outside did the right thing while the fire was small, perhaps preventing damage from spreading in the home. Bolstad also pointed out the danger holiday candles can pose, but praised the residents for having a working smoke detector and quickly calling 9-1-1 while the fire was still small.

The family of four living at the apartment got out safely, but their puppy was hiding under a bed in the smoke-filled apartment and had to be retrieved by firefighters, Bolstad said.

Crews had to tear holes in the ceilings of the unit where the fire started and the neighboring apartment to make sure fire hadn't spread through the eaves and into the attic.

Bolstad said the family should be able to return to their home in a day or two. None of the neighbors in the same building was displaced.