A suspicious fire early Friday at a Mesa fourplex left 22 people without homes.
Nobody was injured in the blaze in the North Mesa Village complex, 1915 N. Spring. But fire officials said the apartments, which sustained $300,000 in damage, were uninhabitable.
Around 7:15 a.m., a fire broke out on a second-story landing in front of an apartment door, deputy fire chief Mary Cameli said. A television set was on the landing, but it was unplugged, she said.
Because the fire blocked the apartment’s only exit, one of the four residents used her hands to break through a wooden lattice, creating another way out. Veronica Navarro, 35, then helped a 12-year-old boy out of the hole and handed down two dogs before escaping.
Meanwhile, neighbors with a garden hose sprayed the fire down enough so the other two residents could get out through the door and down the stairs.
By then, the fire had reached the attic and then spread.
Once fire crews arrived, it took them 15 minutes to extinguish the blaze. The upperfloor apartments lost part of their roofs, while the groundlevel apartments suffered water damage.
The Red Cross is assisting residents in finding shelter.