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Mayor, ABQ Fire Give Apartment Blaze Update

ABQ Area Local 244 establishes fund to help displaced families.

For Immediate Release: March 20, 2018


Alicia Manzano, (505) 768-3000
Tom Ruiz, (505) 934-1021
Diego Arencón, (505) 288-2319

Mayor Keller and AFD Provides Update on Apartment Complex Fire; ABQ Area Local 244 Establishes Fund to Help Displaced Families

Albuquerque NM – On March 20, 2018, a fire at an apartment complex left 29 people displaced and seeking shelter at the City's Manzano Mesa Multi-generational center. Mayor Keller and Chief Dow along with the Red Cross of NM discussed how the city responded and how important smoke detectors are in saving lives. The multi-agency response was seamless. AFD arrived to the apartment blaze quickly to stop the fire and Red Cross of NM sent volunteers to provide help to the displaced residents. The Manzano Mesa Multigenerational Center staff acted fast to open the center as a shelter for the 29 people displaced.

"When we work together as one city, it makes a difference in our community," stated Mayor Keller. "Our city employees jumped into action to rally around families who are going through an extremely difficult time to provide the care and support they need."

Several witnesses stated that smoke alarms were not working at the time of the fire. It's important that every tenant have working smoke alarms in their homes.

Fire & Smoke Alarm Concerns

Tenants can report fire alarm or smoke alarm concerns to 311 or the Albuquerque Fire Marshal's Office at (505) 764-6300.

"It is the responsibility of the owner of the property to install a working smoke alarm in all dwelling units that they lease out. It is the responsibility of the tenant or occupant to maintain the smoke alarm in an operable condition." said Fire Chief Paul Dow.

What to Do: Smoke Alarms

In the event of a fire, a smoke alarm can save your life and those of your loved ones. These inexpensive tools prevent house and apartment fire fatalities by providing an early warning signal -- so you and your family can escape. Smoke alarms are one of the best safety devices you can buy and install to protect yourself, your family, and your home.

  • Place properly installed and maintained smoke alarms both inside and outside of sleeping areas and on every level of your home. Interconnected smoke alarms are best because if one sounds, they all sound. Test smoke alarms monthly and change alkaline batteries at least once every year. You can use a date you already know, like your birthday or when you change your clocks as a reminder.
  • Consider buying a long-life (lithium) battery-powered smoke alarm, which may last up to ten years with no battery change.
  • Install smoke alarms away from air vents.
  • Install smoke alarms on the ceiling or wall, at least 4 inches from corners or according to manufacturer's instructions.

Escape Routes

Prepare and practice an escape route with all residents in the home, including children. Know two ways to exit from every room in your home. Make sure safety bars on windows can be opened from inside your home.

  • Crawl low, under smoke.
  • Feel closed doors. If hot, use another exit. Identify a place to meet household members outside.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you escape.
  • Never go back inside a burning home.

Fire-Prevention Tips

View more fire prevention and smoke alarm tips.

IAFF Local 244 Involvement: Displaced Families Fund

The Albuquerque Area Fire Fighters IAFF Local 244 has a long-standing commitment to going above and beyond to help others in need, both on and off the job. As we have done in past situations of this magnitude, we step up to help those in need. We are sponsoring a fundraising effort to assist the low-income residents who were displaced in the apartment fire on Sunday on Georgia Street SE.

The "Displaced Families Fund" is sponsored by IAFF Local 244 and the Rio Grande Credit Union. The money raised will help the families get back on their feet after the devastating fire that destroyed their homes.

"Our service to the public does not end after the call response or at the end of our shift; it's ongoing, on and off duty. Once again, IAFF Local 244 members go above and beyond to give back to our community by creating the Displaced Families Fund," said Diego Arencón, IAFF Local 244 President.

Donation Information

To contribute, visit any Albuquerque Rio Grande Credit Union branch and mention the "Displaced Families Fund."

Rio Grande Credit Union will collect contributions from March 20 to April 23.

At the end of the thirty days, members of the IAFF Local 244 will distribute the money to the residents affected. Anyone wishing to donate funds may do so at any Albuquerque Rio Grande Credit Union Branch.

Find a branch of Rio Grande Credit Union.

More IAFF Local 244 Information

For questions about IAFF Local 244, contact us at (505) 342-0680

To see how we impact our community in a positive way, go to our social media pages and like us.