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Emergency Calls: First responders chase runaway bull on Highway 160

Area first responders found themselves on an unusual service call last Thursday afternoon when a bull escaped from the rodeo grounds at McCullough Arena on Basin Avenue just before 2:30 p.m.

Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Chief Scott Lewis said his crews were summoned to assist the Nye County Sheriff’s Office and Nye County Animal Control in corralling the animal, which made its way north onto the highway.

“The bull was spotted racing up northbound on Highway 160 and fire crews were trying to help capture the bull,” Lewis said. “Eventually, the bull was captured at Mesquite Avenue and Highway 160. We were pretty much in charge of monitoring 160 to prevent the bull from running out into traffic.”

Marijuana fire

Hours later, fire crews were dispatched to a residence on East Idlewild Street for a structure fire just before 7 p.m.

“Upon arrival, we found fire coming through the roof of the dwelling and we also had an initial report of a gentleman on top of the involved roof with a garden hose, attempting to extinguish the fire,” Lewis said.

Following a risk assessment and scene size-up, Lewis said the man climbed down from the roof but then entered the burning residence.

“I had to go inside and get him out of the house while verbally restraining him that he was not going back inside the house,” Lewis said. “I couldn’t figure out why he was so interested in returning back inside a burning house. Fire crews commenced an interior attack where they hooked the ceilings and got a really good hold on the fire.”

Upon further investigation, Lewis said, it became clear why the man was so intent on re-entering the residence.

“During their primary and secondary searches, crews entered what looked like a false wall, where they found a marijuana grow house with a significant number of plants inside,” Lewis said. “As a result, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office was requested to the scene where they made their initial investigation and mitigated that portion. It appears that the fire was accidental in nature and was most likely related to an electrical issue due to the altering of the electrical system inside the dwelling. It was a pretty elaborate grow house with electrical running up to the attic space.”

More than two dozen individuals are without a home following a structure fire early Friday morning.

Electrical fire

Lewis said crews were dispatched to the area of North Leslie Street just after 6 a.m., where they encountered the odor of an electrical fire inside the residence.

“Upon arrival, crews found light smoke showing and a burn stain showing on the rear roof surface,” he said. “Crews immediately upgraded the assignment to a structure fire, bringing in additional resources, including myself.”

Lewis said the scene size-up and risk assessment at the home revealed an interior smoke condition in the attic just above the kitchen.

“Crews made an interior attack where they hooked the ceilings and exposed a hidden fire that had an electrical origin running into the house,” he said. “The 18 occupants of the double-wide manufactured dwelling had safely egressed from the house, prior to the fire department’s arrival. The occupants included seven adults and 11 children. There were no injuries reported.”

Lewis said crews managed to knock down the fire in short order.

The initial investigation revealed an overload on the home’s electrical system.

“The fire appeared to be related to an overuse of the electrical system inside the house by space heaters.”

As a result, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office was summoned to the scene to check on the welfare of the child occupants.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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