By Associated Press - Friday, July 3, 2020

A fire at a central Phoenix apartment complex killed a woman and critically injured her two children, fire officials said Friday.

Phoenix Fire Department spokesman Capt. Kenny Overton says the children were taken to a local burn center. They are an 8-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy.

The blaze broke out in a three-story apartment building at about 9 a.m. Friday. A number of people were trapped on a second-floor balcony. Bystanders helped many of them evacuate. Others were rescued by firefighters using ladders to reach the balcony while crews battled the flames on the third floor.

The woman was identified by police as 30-year-old Rachel Long. She was found dead inside a burned-out apartment after the flames were extinguished. Police said there were no signs of foul play.

Overton says no firefighters were injured. An adult victim with a leg injury was taken to a hospital for treatment and a second injured adult victim didn’t need to be taken to a hospital.

The apartment complex is located near 19th and Dunlap avenues. Eight apartment units were damaged, and the American Red Cross is working to ensure the residents have a place to stay.

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