SAFD chief: Woodhollow Apartments too risky to investigate yet

Fire chief: 'Like fighting a blow torch'


After surveying the damage at the Woodhollow Apartments on Tuesday, Fire Chief Charles Hood said it was too risky for arson investigators to enter the one building that was reduced to rubble.

But Hood said they have spoken to witnesses, so he hopes that will lead to what started the three-alarm fire.

Hood said Monday's dangerously high winds "could have easily burned up the entire block."

"Fighting a wind-fed fire like that is like fighting a blow torch," Hood said.

However, Hood credited the more than 100 firefighters for containing the fire to a single building with 36 units, of which only three were unoccupied.

"It's a testament to the training and the commitment of the firefighters," Hood said. "We're extremely proud of them."

He said only one resident was treated for smoke inhalation, but no firefighters were hurt.

The chief also said it would have been a far different story if the fire had started in the middle of the night, when many of the families, including 80 children, were asleep.

In addition to help from the American Red Cross, Woodhollow apartment management said donations of clothing, bedding, household and personal hygiene items are being at the leasing office in the 10000 block of Sahara.