Housing complex fire causes $400K in damages

Natasha Bhuyan

A housing complex north of campus caught fire last night, causing more than $400,000 in damages, according to Tucson Fire Department officials.

Eight apartments at Briarwood Apartments, 1300 E. Fort Lowell Road, were damaged by the fire, which began at 9:42 p.m. and took half an hour to contain, said Capt. Paul McDonough, TFD spokesman.

Although some students’ apartments were damaged, no one was injured.

“”This was a pretty graphic, traumatic fire,”” McDonough said. “”There was lots of dark smoke in the air. … We received multiple 911 calls.””

McDonough said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, although it started on the first floor.

Forty-two firefighters in 14 units responded to the call, which is double the response to a typical apartment-complex fire, he said.

McDonough said the apartments damaged in the fire will not be repaired for a few months. The Red Cross may be contacted to provide residents with clothing, temporary housing and other needs.

“”These are not livable, and they won’t be for a while,”” he said.

But the residents involved the fire survived because they had a previous evacuation plan, McDonough said.

“”All students should walk through and practice an evacuation plan should your apartment catch on fire,”” McDonough said. “”Have a meeting plan so your roommate does not come back in looking for you. … Once you’re out, stay out.””