Tags Articles tagged with "MFMD"


A man was struck and killed in a hit-and-run crash in Maricopa early Thursday morning.

A 20-year-old man, identified as Briar Mckay Hoover, was in a car with his father when an argument began. The man fell out of the vehicle near S.R. 347 and Smith Enke Road and was struck by another vehicle. Reports by police state the vehicle the male fell out of did remain on scene. All traffic on westbound Smith Enke has reopened to traffic. All road closures due to the accident have been removed.

The other vehicle said to be a “dark-colored” sedan fled the scene.

“We are still investigating what happened,” MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said.

Live traffic camera stream available here.

Photo by Kyle Norby

One person was reported injured in a two-vehicle collision on the State Route 347 overpass Monday after 3 p.m.

The vehicles collided in the northbound lanes, and one car flipped on its side. Lanes were closed to traffic while first responders worked the scene.

Photo by Kyle Norby

According to Maricopa Fire/Medical Department, a 25-year-old man was transported to Chandler Regional Medical Center with “minor extremity injuries.”

Maricopa Police Department is investigating the incident.

Photo by Kyle Norby

Firefighters check out a smoky fire Thursday. Photo by Kyle Norby

Smoke was reported at Edwards Circle Thursday afternoon in a public housing complex.

“When crews arrived on scene they found smoke coming from the top of the structure coming out from the eaves,” Maricopa Fire/Medical Department spokesman Brad Pitassi said. “They went inside and they couldn’t initially see to find the fire yet.”

Crews contained the fire quickly, but the origin was not pinpointed.

“It appeared it may have been in the attic or could be the wall,” Pitassi said.

The building was next door to Pinal County Head Start.


Photo by Kyle Norby

At least one person was injured in a collision this morning at the intersection of Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway and White and Parker Road.

Maricopa Police spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said it appeared a car ran into the back of a box truck. A piece of the two-door Hyundai Accent was still attached to the truck when first responders arrived.

Maricopa Fire/Medical Department personnel extracted a person from the car.

The road was closed in all direction as the patient was treated and police investigated.

First Responders Day is Oct. 28. Firefighters, police officers, dispatchers and EMTs are the first line of response in a community emergency and individual crises. Their uniforms represent the city, but their work is often very personal. Though they help people in ways few others can, in many instances, they are meeting people on one of the worst days of their lives, witnessing horrific scenes and even putting themselves in precarious situations.

Brad Pitassi. Photo by Kyle Norby

Some told us why they do what they do:

Deputy Fire Chief Brad Pitassi
“I just fell in love with the whole service element of the job. It’s been the best, most rewarding career I’ve ever had.”

MPD Communications Manager Jennifer Hagen
“It’s about being able to make a difference in somebody’s life. If you’re a 911 operator, and you get that phone call, how you do your job can impact the person on the other line. It’s rewarding. I believe I am truly helping people. Even if you can help just one person, it’s all worth it.”

Public Safety Communications Dispatcher Kendra Lange
“To me, there’s something new every single day. It wasn’t anything I thought I would ever want to do, but now that I’m in it, I love it and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. It does bring me happiness. People truly appreciate what you do. I would continue to work here because I have a good support system inside of the police department and in the city that raised me too.”

Patrol Officer Logan Szczepaniec
“I grew up in a family of law enforcement. I grew up day-in and day-out talking to grandparents and uncles who were police officers. My dad was a firefighter, so he kind of steered me in his route, but there was always a strong influence as far as the law enforcement side. It’s in my family blood.”

Chazz Dupree. Photo by Kyle Norby

Fire Capt. Chazz Dupree
“I just realized when I grew up, I gotta figure out something I really wanna do, and what I’m passionate about is service. I liked the service aspect of it. That’s how I was oriented. Money wasn’t what made the wheels turn for me. It was doing service and helping others.”

Police Sgt. Robert Wenderoth
“I was always interested in investigations. I wanted to officially go into the FBI. At a county fair back home, I ran into some deputies and some Explorers, which is a youth group with the police departments, and I started with the Explorers and fell in love with the local aspect of it. I found my niche in investigation and decided to stick with the local route.”

Fire Chief Brady Leffler
“I have great respect for police officers. As a matter of fact, I think it’s one of the toughest times to be a police officer. My future wife is a retired Scottsdale Police officer, and I’ve got to tell you, I have the utmost respect for them. I wouldn’t change what I do for anything.”

This item appears in the October issue of InMaricopa.


While her parents were at work, both teaching school, 18-month-old Cate Jump fell into a private swimming pool while in the care of a babysitter. Paramedics responding from Maricopa Fire/Medical Department’s Station 571 reported she was not breathing and turning blue. That was on Sept. 27. Thursday, Cate and her family paid a visit to Fire Station 571 to thank all the personnel for restoring her to life.


Photo by Kyle Norby

A toddler survived a near-drowning at a house in The Lakes at Rancho El Dorado Friday morning.

The child apparently fell into a backyard pool on Wade Drive. Initial emergency calls indicated the child was not breathing and was turning blue.

Maricopa Fire/Medical Department and Maricopa Police Department responded to the scene. The child was transported to a hospital.

“We are still looking into it,” MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said. “But so far we believe the child got out through the doggy door and fell into the pool.”

“It resonates very loudly with first responders.”

MPD Commander James Hughes speaks at the 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

By Joycelyn Cabrera

The Maricopa Police Department hosted the City’s Sept. 11 Remembrance Ceremony at its substation at Copper Sky.

The ceremony is the city’s third annual memorial of the Sept. 11 attacks and the only official memorial held in the rural area south of Phoenix. While other suburbs were invited to participate in memorials held in Phoenix and Tempe, the City of Maricopa has held its own Remembrance Ceremony for Sept. 11 for the last three years at the MPD substation and for the previous nine years, going back to 2007, at local elementary schools, said Ricardo Alvarado, MPD’s public information officer.

Photo by Joycelyn Cabrera

MPD Commander James Hughes and Fire Chief Brady Leffler with Maricopa Fire/Medical Department both spoke at the memorial to honor the first responders and civilians who had fallen or were still affected by the attacks 18 years ago.

The city has experienced substantial growth over the last few years, expanding from a small, rural town to a semi-rural, small city. Even so, the community continues to hold multiple annual events year-round, often organized by city departments or volunteer organizations.

The MPD substation’s memorial monument was built and opened to the public by the Maricopa Police Department Foundation to honor fallen officers and their families. It became an obvious place to pay tribute to the 2,977 people who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

“To this day, there are people who still suffer from the effects of going in and helping people to try to save lives,” Leffler said. “There are still people who are dying to this day, from the effects of that day.”

Vice Mayor Henry Wade and Councilmember Rich Vitiello spoke at the memorial. Vitiello, a former resident of New York, shared more of his memories of the attack after the ceremony.

“It was the worst day, to me, in American history. It crushed me as a person, to see innocent people die and the people that are still dying because of it,” Vitiello said. “Innocent people died for no reason, for selfishness and hatred.”

Photo by Joycelyn Cabrera

MPD invites elected officials to speak at the ceremony.

“As a first responder, you have a different view of how things are portrayed because you can be called on at any time to go into a situation where you don’t go home the next day,” Leffler said. “It resonates very loudly with first responders.”

The MPD plans to continue these memorials annually as younger generations are reminded of the historic tragedy that took place before they were born.

“I remember my parents discussing where they were when they heard the news that President Kennedy was assassinated.” Hughes said. “I remember my grandparents talking about where they were when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Now we find ourselves talking about where we were when Sept. 11 happened.”

Shortly after the Remembrance Ceremony, the MPD traveled to Legacy Traditional School to hold another 9/11 memorial service. The police department will continue to host its annual ceremony at the memorial monument for the community to gather close to home.

Joycelyn Cabrera is a graduate of Maricopa High School and a student at the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

Yonatan Vasquez Vides (PCSO){

Yonatan Vasquez Vides, 25, was arrested Friday night after an altercation at McDonald’s was videoed.

A local woman who was at McDonald’s on John Wayne Parkway with her friends posted a video on a local Facebook group that allegedly showed Vasquez Vides trying to touch her friend. They reportedly didn’t know who he was. The woman began recording on her cellphone when another man, identified as Kieran Gallagher, attempted to get Vasquez Vides away from the table of girls.

The video supports the police report and shows a man purported to be Vasquez Vides begin to swing his fist at Gallagher. He allegedly hit Gallagher in the arm. After the initial contact, McDonald’s staff intervened. The suspect is then seen fleeing the scene through an exit door by the children’s play area. Police observed redness on Gallagher’s right forearm, but no further injuries.

According to the police report, Police were called and made contact with Vasquez Vides across the street at Fry’s Marketplace. Vasquez Vides requested to be seen by Maricopa Fire/Medical Department for a knee injury. While MFD Capt. Nathan Maxcy was evaluating the suspect’s knee, Vasquez Vides allegedly proceeded to kick him in the shin, leaving a red mark.

Vasquez Vides was placed under arrest and booked in Pinal County Jail on suspicion of aggravated assault on fire/EMT personnel and assault.


City of Maricopa Fire/Medical Department firefighter Jared Hobson will compete on the History Channel’s reality show “Forged In Fire” on July 24.

This show selects the country’s top bladesmiths to compete in a variety of challenges recreating historical weapons. The outcome of the show is unknown until it airs.

Hobson is assigned to Engine 574 B shift and has been with the department for 13 years.

Jason Nelson spoke about the ways kids get in trouble on the Internet. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Protecting children from predators, bullying, sexting, identity theft, human trafficking and other Internet and social media-related trouble was at the focus of a presentation by City of Maricopa Fire Inspector Jason Nelson on Saturday morning at Leading Edge Academy. Nelson presented information on the latest trends and scams battled by cybersecurity measures. Maricopan Diana Schalow explained how her daughter Angela Russo was murdered after finding dates online.

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Photos by Kyle Norby

Professional Firefighters of Maricopa hosted its inaugural custom car show at Copper Sky on Saturday to benefit Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children and Firefighter Charities.

Carlos Schulz of Professional Firefighters of Maricopa at Fire Station 571. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Professional Firefighters of Maricopa are hosting their inaugural Custom Car Show April 6 at Copper Sky.

What: Custom Car Show
Who: Professional Firefighters of Maricopa
When: April 6, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Copper Sky Regional Park, 44345 W. Bowlin Road
How much: Free admission; $25-$35 to enter car
Info: PFFMCustomCarShow@gmail.com; 623-826-2816

The event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Great Lawn, benefits Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children and Firefighter Charities.

“We’ll be collecting toys and monetary donations through the car show to help with other medical costs,” said engineer Carlos Schulz of Maricopa Fire/Medical Department. Firefighters are asking for new, stuffed toys to give the children of the Foundation.

Firefighters Charities provide temporary relief for families displaced by fire “until help from the Red Cross kicks in,” he said. The relief fund also assists families who may have had a death or a hardship.

The car show will have 25 class awards and five specialty awards. Entry is $25 for pre-registration or $35 the day of the show. There will be a $5 discount for anyone donating a new stuffed toy on the day of the event.

Schultz said specialty awards will be Best of Show, People’s Choice Award, Best Paint, Best Interior and Kids Choice Award. The event will be DJ’d, and there will be a 50/50 raffle, silent auction, food trucks and giveaways. The first 100 cars to enter receive a dash plaque.

This story appears in the April issue of InMaricopa.

Native Grill has not established a date for re-opening.

After more than three months of investigating, Maricopa Fire investigators really have no idea why a fire occurred at Native Grill & Wings in the early morning hours of Jan. 12.

According to a Fire Investigation Report authored by the Maricopa Fire/Medical Department Division of Fire Prevention, the 2 a.m. event was “a medium size commercial structure with no smoke showing.”

When crews entered the building, they found a “large stove fire,” which was quickly knocked down, and flames extending into the hood system, which were extinguished.

Eight units reported to the scene. The report described heavy smoke in the building. Gas services to the building were quickly shut off but fire crews had a problem shutting off electricity to the building.

“The electrical wiring above the ceiling hood [was] burned and hanging; fire crews checking for extension removed light fixtures around the area.  The service panel located at the west side of the building did not have an electrical main disconnect to shut power off. ED3 techs on-scene had to disconnect power at the transformer located west of the service panel,” the investigators report reads.

Investigators described the fire in detail in the report.

“The fire originated at the kitchen, the area of origin was at the most east portion of the kitchen heating appliances stove/grille,” the fire report states. “All the stove knobs appeared to be in different locations making it undetermined if the stove was in the on position or off. The manager indicated using pliers to turn the knobs. Fire extended up into the exhaust hood interior duct with extreme heat to the ductwork melting the outer insulation approximate 3 feet above the ceiling tiles.”

Some of the fire suppression system worked, and some of it did not.

“The fire alarm display showed kitchen hood system activated to dispatch the fire dept. Visual inspection of the manual pull station located at the northeast exit door not manual activated; the glass tube to the handle was still intact, never broke. A visual under the hood showed two of the temperature hood links did melt due to heat that should have caused the system to activate; but no release of the wet chemical initiated,” the report states.

Investigators noted two sprinkler pendants just outside the hood system that did not activate “due to insufficient heat,” nor did upright sprinklers above the roof trusses near the hood system ductwork.

“The majority of the flames traveled up into the exhaust ductwork and out the exhaust fan located on roof,” the investigators report states.

Investigators are just not sure what caused the fire that has kept Native Grill closed for the past three months.

“Investigators determined the cause as undetermined,” the report states. “According to interviews with manager, all kitchen employees shut the kitchen down at 11:30 p.m., then cleaned leaving around midnight. The manager Amy indicated to have checked the kitchen before closing the bar around 2 a.m.”

But investigators did find a problem in the fire suppression system. Nozzles in the hood system did not release any wet chemical. According to the report, one inspector found wet chemical bottles disconnected and the copper tube fitting that joined the two bottles was disconnected, prohibiting the system from working. The “flared nut” at the line was also found disconnected, possibly by a hand wrench.

“Undetermined time of system to be disconnected and inoperable,” the report states. “The last annual service date for the suppression system was November 2018. The last cleaning service was December 2018.”

The managers and owners of Native Grill said they did not know the suppression system had been disconnected, according to the report.

The owners of Native Grill remain unsure when the Maricopa restaurant might reopen. Hopes had been for a March and then an April opening, but it might be May before the restaurant is back. Native Grill & Wings operated the beer garden at Salsa Festival, and owners have been referring customers to other Valley locations.

Photo by Jim Headley

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, March 26, one of the older houses in Maricopa burned. The house, located at 44390 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway near the overpass construction area, burned through the wee hours of the morning, shutting down the Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway until about 8 a.m. as Maricopa Fire/Medical Department investigated. No one was injured in the blaze.

A male resident was injured about 11 a.m. Monday when a fire and explosion occurred in the garage of a home in the 46100 block of Guilder Avenue in Maricopa Meadows. The man was treated at the scene by Maricopa Fire/Medical personnel. The cause of the fire was not yet released. Three propane bottle were known to be in the garage.

Photos by Jim Headley

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Six new fighters were pinned Tuesday. Photo by Jim Headley


Four city of Maricopa employees were honored Tuesday evening as the city presented their 2018 City of Maricopa employee excellence awards at the regular meeting of the Maricopa City Council.

Human Resources Director Fernanda Osgood said 13 employees were nominated this year.

“They were all highly qualified, she said. “It was actually was very tough for the executive committee to come to a decision of who the winners will be.”

Margeux Edwards, was selected for her excellence as a non-management employee; Mike Riggs, as mid-management employee; Jorge Del Ruo, for public safety; and Kathy Irwin, as a part time employee. A total of 13 employee nominations were received this year. The city’s employee award program began in 2013.

Tuesday, the city also pinned six new firefighters, Adam Wilson, Jeffry Fuller, Jay Boss, Benjamin Foster, Anthony Ruiz and Benjamin Blanco.

In other matters Tuesday evening, the city council approved changes to the city’s Chapter 8 Business Regulations. The changes were necessary because the city is eliminating the need for business licenses, except for “adult” based businesses.

The matter was quickly approved with no discussion and goes into effect on Jan. 1.

The city is creating a business registry to replace the business licensing. Learn more about the registry here

The council voted to approve a new Geographic Information Systems Technician position to help the city easily have information needed to map utilities and infrastructure accurately.

The council approved an Intergovernmental Agreement between the State of Arizona and the City of Maricopa for design and construction of improvements that add four miles of fiber backbone infrastructure for City of Maricopa use.

The council accepted an US Department of Justice – Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) STOP School Violence Prevention Program award in the amount of $147,365 with a performance period of two years.  The city has a matching component for each year.  A matching requirement of $49,122.00 has been budgeted in the coming year.

Perlman Architects designed the planned administration building for the Maricopa Fire/Medical Department.

It been a decade in the works, but the construction of a new Maricopa Fire/Medical Department administration building has finally arrived.

The new building is colorful, bright, big and inspired by the community it will serve.

Rodolfo Lopez, Maricopa senior planner, told members of the Heritage District Advisory Committee Thursday evening they were there to vote on the elevation proposal for the facility. The proposed building will be south of Fire Station 575, which is on the west end of Edison Road.

“Our main criteria for reviewing this is to make sure that the elevation incorporates the colors, materials and the type of elements within the building,” Lopez said.

The committee gets early looks at developments coming into the Heritage District, which comprises a specific area of “old” Maricopa.

Gerrald Adams, with Perlman Architects of Arizona in Phoenix, told the committee the project is part of the campus with the fleet building and the fire station. The new admin building is budgeted at $5.6 million, paid for in part by funds from Arizona Department of Transportation after the state purchased the previous admin site on State Route 347 at Garvey Avenue to build the overpass. Fire/Medical Department personnel currently work out of modular buildings on the north side of Edison across from Fire State 575.

Adams showed a PowerPoint presentation detailing the new site plan, architecture, floor plan and landscaping, and presented detailed information about the building’s elevation due to it being in a flood plain.

The site will also include a memorial to firefighters, according to Adams.

“The public can enjoy the experience at the same time they are coming to visit the fire station and the fire admin facility. It is a general office. It is offices for senior staff and leadership. It has a community room, training room, break area, an outdoor courtyard and a warehouse,” he said.

The historic look of the building mattered to Adams and to fire department leaders.

“One thing we were challenged with is to respect the railroad and the history of Maricopa. We looked at the original Maricopa depot from the 1920s and ’30s and incorporated that using modern materials like those used on the fire station. It is a tribute to the railroad days of the roundhouse and the railroad days in Maricopa,” Adams said.

Adams said hopes are that construction can begin on the building in June or sometime in the summer and that it would be completed in six to eight months.

Members of the Heritage District Advisory Committee approved the plan for the new administration building 4-0 with two of the six committee members not present.

Gerrald Adams presents concepts to the City’s Heritage District Advisory Committee. Photo by Jim Headley

Photo by Jewel Leonard

While a fatal house fire continues to be investigated in Tortosa, Maricopa Fire Department will host an “After the Fire” program Wednesday at City Hall.

What: After the Fire
When: Oct. 3, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Maricopa City Hall
Who: Maricopa Fire Department
Info: John.Storm@Maricopa-AZ.gov, 520-510-5585

Fire Marshal Eddie Rodriguez said information is still being gathered by MFD and Maricopa Police Department about the Sept. 26 fire on Nina Street, and the cause is unknown. Angel Coffman, 19, suffered fatal injuries. Two other adults and a toddler were rescued.

“What we do know is the area of origin occurred at the first floor of the two-story,” Rodriguez said. “Pinal County Animal Control recovered and removed four deceased pet animals from the home. The Red Cross did assist the family to temporary housing at a nearby motel.”

Wednesday’s program starts at 6:30 p.m. It will emphasize fire prevention, safety and fire department operations related to the Nina Street fire. The public is encouraged to attend and ask questions.

MFD administrators and crews will be on hand to provide insight into fire prevention and what residents can do to reduce the chance of fire. Residents are specifically asked to check their smoke detectors and replace old batteries, have and practice an emergency evacuation plan and identify a meeting-reunification area.

The Nichols family visited Station 572 to thank crewmembers who helped save the youngest member of the family. Submitted photos

A Maricopa family thanked a crew from the Maricopa Fire/Medical Department for heroics that saved an infant’s life.

The incident occurred in March, and the little girl has been recovering ever since. This week, Joshua and Katrina Nichols brought Ella, now 1 year old, to Fire Station 572 to meet the crew who worked so diligently to keep her alive.

Today, Ella officially will be adopted by the Nichols family.

Ella was born at 30 weeks, Katrina Nichols said, “after being exposed to illegal substances in utero. She required excessive resuscitation.”

Because of her rough start, she has chronic lung disease and cognitive delays and needed a tracheal tube and gastrostomy tube. At 2 months old, she finally left the hospital and moved into a foster home for “medically fragile” children.

Josh Nichols, a respiratory therapist, met Ella during his brief assignment at Phoenix Children’s Hospital during the winter. Already the father of four, including adopted and special needs kids, Josh fell in love with Ella.

The Nichols family was soon her foster family.

Ella has a pulse oximeter and apnea monitor to measure her vital signs as she remains fragile. March 20 just after midnight, both monitors alerted Katrina Nichols to the fact Ella wasn’t breathing.

“Needless to say, it was the scariest thing that has ever happened to me,” Katrina said.

A 911 dispatcher guided her through the technique of infant chest compressions. First responders arrived within five minutes and took over.

Firefighter/EMT Shayleen Parris, Captain/EMT Dan Ashton and engineer/paramedic Tom Reid with Ella. Submitted photo

Katrina described Ella going into full cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital and said the baby “was gone” for 16 minutes, “but they didn’t give up.”

“The doctors think that she had a mucous plug blocking her airway, which caused all of the resulting issues,” she said. “After her cardiac arrest, she went on to have seizures and ended up in a coma for a week.  It was very touch and go for a while, we didn’t know how things would turn out or what the extent of her new brain trauma would be. But by the grace of God, she had no new damage and we were able to bring her home 26 days later. It has taken some time, but she is getting back to herself again. She still has muscle tremors from time to time and may not get her vision back. But she is here.  She is a fighter. She is smiling.”

The Nichols family returned to Fire Station 572 to thank the crew that had a hand in keeping Ella alive. Three of the crew – Captain/EMT Dan Ashton, engineer/paramedic Tom Reid and firefighter/EMT Shayleen Parris – were at the station.

“They saved our daughter’s life and we couldn’t be more grateful,” Katrina said. “They remembered her instantly. She is hard to forget. We shook their hands, hugged them and thanked them face to face. It was emotional for all of us, I think.”

A home caught fire early Saturday morning in the Villages, but no injuries were reported.

Three adults and two children were at home in the 43600 block of West McClelland Court. according to Maricopa Police Department spokesman Ricardo Alvarado. Maricopa Fire/Medical Department received the call at 3:26 a.m.

“The house was fully engulfed from the garage area,” Alvarado said. Six Maricopa engine companies responded along with units from Phoenix and Chandler.

The cause is under investigation.

Photo by Michelle Chance

The Maricopa Fire/Medical Department responded Tuesday to an accident involving two vehicles on John Wayne Parkway.

The incident occurred in an intersection near The Shops at Maricopa Fiesta. Emergency crews were still assisting a passenger in a silver-colored sedan at 3:15 p.m.

A digital community alert sent by the Maricopa Police Department warned afternoon motorists to expect delays. Injuries are reported.

This is a developing story.

Photo by Michelle Chance

Photo by Jason Nelson

A group of teenagers spent June 30 becoming certified babysitters through a free city program.

The Maricopa Fire/Medical Department offered the Child and Baby Safety certifications to nine young people who submitted essays for admittance into the class in June.

“These kids are our first line of safety and it is important that we give them the tools necessary to succeed,” said MFMD Prevention Specialist Jason Nelson.

After the six-hour class, the teens received their certification and a CABS card.

A fire destroys a house in Alterra. Photo by Michelle Chance

A house caught on fire in the 44900 block of West Buckhorn Trail in Alterra Monday afternoon. There are no reports of injuries.

Workers were load testing a new air conditioning unit being installed at the house when the fire broke out, according to Maricopa Police Department spokesman Ricardo Alvarado.

The fire spread to the roof, where flames were visible. Up to four people were evacuated from the house. Firefighters with Maricopa Fire/Medical Department responded to the scene around 3:45 p.m. Units were also dispatched from Chandler, Sun Lakes and Casa Grande.

With increased winds, firefighters went into defensive mode to protect surrounding homes as the roof fell in.

A few teens will receive free certification in babysitting safety through a new city program.

What: MFMD Child and Babysitting Safety Class
Entrance application: One-page essay
Deadline: June 25
Eligible participants: Young people (ages 11 to 15)
Cost: Free

The City of Maricopa Fire Community Service Department is donating the certifications for its Child and Babysitting Safety (CABS) program in June to 10 young people ages 11-15.

Acceptance into the program requires the submission of a 1-page essay “describing who you are and why you want to be a certified babysitter,” according to a MF/MD press release.

Submissions must be sent via email to Jason.Nelson@maricopa-az.gov by June 25.

Those selected into the program will attend a six-hour class on June 30.

Participants will receive a CABS certification, good for two years, from the American Safety and Health Institute.

“The program provides fundamental information in the business of babysitting, proper supervision, basic caregiving skills and responding properly to ill or injured children or infants,” according to the news release.

Teens will learn the business side of babysitting, safety and injury prevention, leadership skills, playtime tips, basic care-giving skills and first aid.

Photo by Michelle Chance

After a busy week battling structure fires, the Maricopa Fire/Medical Department will hold a presentation on the site of the recent residential fire in Senita.

What: After the Fire presentation
Who: Maricopa Fire/Medical Department
When: June 18 at 7 p.m.
Where: 43267 W. Maricopa Ave.

The “After the Fire” program will take place June 18 at 43267 W. Maricopa Ave at 7 p.m. The event is open to the public.

“This program is an opportunity for the fire department to emphasize fire prevention, home and life safety and fire department operations in conjunction with the recent structure fire in the Senita subdivision,” MFMD Assistant Fire Chief John Storm wrote in a press release Tuesday.

Fire crews responded to reports of the garage fire June 6. Residents and a few pets made it out safely.

Storm said the residents are staying with family nearby as fire investigators examine what sparked the blaze inside the garage.

“Fire Department administrators and crews will be on hand to answer all questions and provide valuable insight into fire prevention and what Maricopa residents can do for themselves to reduce and eliminate the chances a fire may occur at their residence or business,” according to the release.

MFMD has responded to three structure fires in Maricopa neighborhoods since June 6.

Photo by Michelle Chance


A home in Tortosa caught fire Tuesday afternoon and threatened neighboring houses.

Maricopa Fire/Medical Department responded to Cartegna Lane after neighbors reported smoke. One neighbor tested the door handle of the building and discovered it was hot.

The homeowner was not home at the time. Three dogs were in the back yard, apparently having escaped through a dog door. No injuries have been reported.

Deidra Campbell, a neighbor, said she saw the smoke on her way home and was one of the first to report the fire. At first, she thought it was blowing dust and later a small brush fire.

“When we got closer to the entry to Tortosa, we could tell it was different,” she said. “We waited in the median and called from there.”

MFMD hit two houses with water in the 35000 block of West Cartegna.

Fire Chief Brady Leffler said by the time firefighters arrived, the fire had burned through the stairwell, cutting off access to the second floor.

“They backed out; they went defensive, which is to protect exposures and things like that,” Leffler said. “They’ve got it under control now.”

He said the fire was contained to one house.

Maricopa Police Department spokesman Daniel Rauch said officers were able to contact the homeowner, and he was on his way to the scene.

It is the third house fire reported since June 6.

Photo by Michelle Chance

Firefighters are battling a blaze at a home in Senita. According to Maricopa Fire/Medical Department, three people and two dogs safely made it out of the house on Maricopa Avenue.

The fire, which caused billowing smoke over the neighborhood, apparently started in the garage. The cause and ignition point are not yet known. A car parked in the driveway was partially burned. The call came in at 3:06 p.m.

A cat was rescued from the house.

Photo by Michelle Chance

A report of trouble in a house on Portarosa Drive in Glennwilde brought out both Maricopa Police Department and Maricopa Fire/Medical Department Monday.

The home’s occupant spoke to the police without incident.

“We made phone contact with him and he came out,” MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said, “but units smelled smoke and called fire to check the house out.”

MFMD spokesman Capt. Brad Pitassi also said his department had been called to the location on a report of someone with difficulty breathing.

Officers initially thought smoke might be coming from a bedroom after the house was cleared and the man was being transported to the station, but nothing was found.

MPD blocked the street to traffic. There were no injuries reported.