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Comstock home destroyed by wind-aided fire

A small child is credited with reporting a fire that destroyed a local family’s home on Sunday.

Local fire crews were dispatched just before noon for a report of a structure fire on Comstock Avenue.

Fire Chief Scott Lewis said crews could actually see heavy black smoke billowing up in the distance shortly after leaving the fire station.

“We knew we had a working structure fire,” he said. “The structure was occupied by an adult female and a 4-year-old child as well as a dog. It was actually the 4 year old who was reported to have smelled smoke and notified her mother.”

Though no injuries were reported, Lewis said one of the main concerns was preventing the fire from spreading to other structures near the fire scene.

“We had some very windy conditions and gusts that created a challenge due to additional structures that were of close proximity,” he said. “Upon arrival, we found a double-wide manufactured dwelling which had heavy smoke showing. On the back side, there was heavy fire conditions and the fire had moved up the exterior walls of the structure and entered into the attic space.”

Lewis said the fire spread underneath the home, which created a precarious situation for the firefighters as both the floor and ceiling were giving way to the flames.

“The floor was collapsing underneath the crews as well as the ceiling and roofing materials which was also coming down,” he said. “We made sure everybody was accounted for and safe. We pulled all the skirting from the underside of the structure, took out some windows and doors and were able to place the fire under control within 30 minutes.”

Although Lewis said the investigation is in its initial stages, it appears nothing sinister was behind the cause of the fire.

“It looks like the cause of the fire is accidental and there is nothing at this point suggesting anything other than that,” he said. “We are placing it most likely at the exterior of the home where it went up the wall and into the attic space.”

Lewis also noted that fire crews encountered problems as they first arrived on scene.

“This was a narrow street environment and we were just flooded with both pedestrians and vehicular traffic on Sunday which impeded us in getting to the house,” he said. “We had to back a couple of ambulances out of the area because we could not get the apparatus in.”

The fire chief also gave a bit of advice to local residents in the event of a similar situation.

“It really hampered us in many ways so I’d like to remind everyone to please if they see a fire, stay away from the immediate area because we need to get the resources and manpower in and the last thing we want to do is take our attention away from the task at hand to try to manage people and traffic in the area.”

Lewis also gave thanks to members of the Nye County Sheriff’s Office who arrived to provide traffic control at the scene.

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