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6:06 AM Thu, Nov. 15th

Intense heat elevated the challenge for firefighters

Cause of Copper Ridge fire still unknown

Flames are visible through a window at Thursday’s fire at Copper Ridge Apartments. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)

Flames are visible through a window at Thursday’s fire at Copper Ridge Apartments. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)

KINGMAN - Kingman firefighters battled a large and pesky fire on an already blazing hot afternoon Thursday.

The fire broke out at the Copper Ridge apartments on Hualapai Mountain Road at about 3:40 p.m., according to Assistant Chief Keith Eaton.

Nobody was injured and a cause has not yet been determined, but a dozen families were displaced, most of them temporarily as crews managed to save most of the building.

Heavy smoke and fire from a second-floor apartment and balcony greeted responders, who soon discovered the fire had spread into the ground level apartment.

Eaton said firefighters immediately entered both apartments to rescue any occupants and fight an offensive fire.

That plan was soon abandoned once it was determined no civilians were inside and the roof began falling. The strategy shifted to a defensive attack, said Eaton.

Once a ladder truck was set up and "master stream procedures" were instituted, the fire was knocked down enough to allow firefighters to re-enter the building for salvage and overhaul.

The heat and intensity of the fire challenged crews.

"This really taxed our department for three to four hours," said Eaton in an email.

"Our firefighters and support personnel fought through the 100-degree temperatures to complete this great stop and save of the remaining structure."

Eaton said AMR paramedics monitored firefighters for exhaustion symptoms. Crews from AMR and Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District covered the rest of the city while Kingman battled the fire.