Photo courtesy Brian Curry AFMA/Sun Lakes PIO
CHANDLER, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Firefighters say no one was injured when a first-alarm fire broke out at a Chandler mansion early Thursday morning.
Crews from Arizona Fire and Medical were first on scene and was assisted by firefighters from Tempe, Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert. It took the firefighters hours to put the massive blaze out.
The home is still a loss, but the homeowners are just grateful they made it out alive.
"I was coming down, I could smell... I noticed that something was burning," Julie Khalaj said.
It was almost 3 a.m. when Julie Khalaj went downstairs to let the family's five dogs out.
"I was having a hard time breathing because it was a burning sensation," she said.
She dragged the kennels into the yard and woke her husband.
"We immediately called 911, they told us 'get out, get out now,'" David Khalaj said. "We just ran out."
They helped Julie's 86-year-old mother and 13-year-old son out and minutes later, the entire home was engulfed.
The first crews on scene rushed inside but had to leave within minutes because it was too dangerous.
"Crews realized the fire was not going to be stopped," said Eric Krewer, deputy chief with Arizona and Fire and Medical. "We gotta make sure these firefighters stay safe."
Firefighters went on the defensive, fighting the massive blaze from the outside. Two ladder trucks streamed hundreds of gallons of water in an effort to save what they could.
"Unfortunately, there's a big attic and the fire went right through the attic," said Craig Lloyd, a neighbor.
The fire destroyed the home and most likely everything inside, but not the family's spirit.
"Just pictures, that's the only thing that I'm sad about," David Khalaj said. "Everything else is replaceable."
"Thanks to the first responders, firefighters, police department... without them, this could[sic] be possible," Julie Khalaj said. "We are very grateful for everyone in this neighborhood."
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.