Terry Goddard's Garage Fire Caused by Refrigerator or Outlet, Says Fire Department

The early-morning fire at Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard's downtown Phoenix home was caused by a refrigerator in his detached garage or an outlet the fridge was plugged into, fire officials tell New Times.

Neighbors reportedly saw 40-foot flames at the structure. The garage is used as a workshop and "storage facility," says Goddard's office.

Goddard, his wife, and son had been sleeping at home when the fire broke out -- they weren't hurt.

Shelly Jamison, spokeswoman for the Phoenix Fire Department, says that contrary to some initial reports, the fire was not "suspicious" or connected to a fallen power line.

Goddard lost several precious items in the fire, Jamison says.

Family and personal records, personal papers "going back to his time as [Phoenix] mayor," and some photos were among the items destroyed, Jamison says.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.