A gas leak is a suspected source of a fire that gutted an apartment complex near Payson, AZ on Saturday. Ten people were injured, one of them, who suffered serious burns, was hospitalized.
Eight people were inside the four-unit apartment on the 300 block of East Zurich and Payson on Saturday when the fire broke out in the early evening. Fire Chief David Staub said the building was a total loss.
Seven of the people inside and two people outside had minor injuries and were treated at the scene. One woman was airlifted to the Maricopa Medical Center burn unit. Another person who was injured was treated at Banner Payson Medical Center.
Some of the people who lived in the building smelled gas earlier in the day, their relatives told 3TV/CBS 5. The Phoenix Fire Department said the fire may have started as a gas explosion. An official cause of the fire has not yet been determined, an investigation is underway. The Red Cross Disaster Action team is helping to relocate residents.
Fire officials recommend the following tip for reducing the risk of injury from natural gas:
If you smell gas, hear a hissing sound, or seeother evidence of a gas leak:
- Alert others and evacuate the area immediately.
- Call 911 when you are safely out of the area.
- Don’t light a match, candle, smoking materials or other flame.
- Don’t turn on light switches of other electrical appliances.
- Don’t start o motorized equipment or vehicles, or use any device that could cause a spark.
Call 911 if you see signs that there may be a gas leak including:
- A damaged connection to a natural gas appliance
- Dirt, water or debris being blown into the air
- A dry patch of grass in your yard (in an otherwise moist area)
- A hissing sound
- A gas smell.