At least two structures on the historic Binion Ranch property were destroyed by fire over the weekend.
The ranch formerly was owned by the late gambling executive Ted Binion.
Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Services Chief Scott Lewis said crews were dispatched to 700 East Wilson Road just before 2 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14.
Lewis noted that as crews began their response, they observed a large fire in the area, whereupon arrival, they found heavy fire involving what was once a sprawling horse stable on the property.
“Crews accessed the property, where they made their way through the complex and as they arrived in the area of the stables, they also observed a second structure separated by 100 to 125 feet, which was also well involved,” Lewis said. “Crews commenced a defensive exterior attack, working on both buildings and protecting nearby exposures.”
Additional resources requested
Due to the size of the fire and numerous exposures on the property, Lewis said an “all-hands,” response was requested, bringing in additional crews and resources.
Crews also used water hydrants located across the street in the Ishani Ridge subdivision to provide additional water supplies onto the fire grounds.
“Crews worked diligently to control the fire with no further extension,” Lewis said. “The stables were controlled within an hour after arrival. The one portion of the building was controlled in about 25 minutes after arrival, however, it was observed that the fire was sandwiched between the roof surface and the walls of the structure that was erected around the late 1800s or early 1900s.”
Entering fully-involved structure
Lewis also noted that he and Fire Captain Steve Moody entered the second burning structure in order to determine what crews were up against.
“Captain Moody and I went in to try to understand what our fuel loads were, and to understand the odd fire behavior that we were experiencing on the second building,” he said. “We observed the contents, documented them, and we egressed out a short time later, as heavy smoke and heavy fire were presenting from those same areas.”
Additionally, Lewis said due to the structures re-igniting throughout the morning and afternoon, crews were forced to remain on scene throughout Saturday evening and into Sunday morning.
“Crews were out there until about 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon,” he said. “We were also back throughout the night and into Sunday, making sure the hot spots were eliminated in preparation of red flag warnings this week. There was one firefighter who apparently suffered from heat exhaustion, and was treated on the scene but not transported.”
Lewis also said as the exact cause of the fire is suspect in nature, an investigation is now underway by Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Services, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, and the Nevada State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @pvtimes
A closer look
The ranch formerly was once owned by the late gambling executive Ted Binion.
“There is a long-standing rumor within Nye County that Binion had buried a large amount of precious metals, including silver bars, on this property and others that he owned,” the Nye County Sheriff’s Office has said.
In 1998, Nye County found $5 million of silver in Pahrump owned by Binion, the manager of Binion’s Horseshoe in Las Vegas, whose death dominated headlines two decades ago, leading to a high-profile murder trial.
Binion was 55 when his body was found face up on the floor of his 6,700-square-foot home on Palomino Lane on Las Vegas on Sept. 17, 1998. His death was initially ruled a heroin and Xanax overdose.
Binion’s girlfriend, Sandy Murphy, who he met when she was a dancer at Cheetah’s, and her lover, Rick Tabish, were later convicted, then acquitted, of his murder. In the days after Binion’s death, Tabish tried to take $6 million in silver from a buried vault in Pahrump.
It’s unclear if Cleaves and the other two men were successful in finding anything on Binion’s former property.
Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fire crews/Area 51
Over the weekend, Pahrump Fire Chief Scott Lewis said the department’s goal was to try and make sure that all of the crews were rested as much as possible and to make sure their equipment was all prepared for the upcoming Storm Area 51 event, just north of the Pahrump Valley, but those plans were dashed due to the Binion Ranch fire, which took nearly two days to fully extinguish.
“We had a significant fire, which necessitated the need to go through all of the equipment again,” he said. The crews were without significant rest for almost 48 hours, but we will get there and we will be prepared. We are working diligently to catch up to make sure all of the apparatus’ are ready. At present, there is no further intelligence information suggesting what we will be experiencing, however, we are still prepared as much as possible to protect the communities from any large anticipated surge of individuals and vehicles, as well as to make sure that we have appropriate protection throughout the county.”
— Selwyn Harris, Pahrump Valley Times