House burns during fireworks display

The show still went on, but Beatty Volunteer Fire Department personnel were called away from their July Fourth fireworks display for a house fire at the home of Pete Rand about halfway through the show.

Chief Mike Harmon initially sent one fire engine to answer the call with instructions for that crew to call for the second engine if they needed help. It didn’t take long for that call to come. Three people stayed to continue the fireworks display.

A room attached to a single-wide mobile home at 106 West Montgomery was fully engulfed when the first fire crew arrived. An electric pole next to the structure was also on fire and throwing sparks.

“We knocked it down pretty fast,” said Harmon. He said the add-on room was pretty much destroyed, but the mobile home itself did not burn, although there was extensive smoke damage.

Harmon said that it was a good thing that they did not put water on the power pole, as the Valley Electric crew said it was still live when they arrived. The Valley Electric crew had to respond from Amargosa, as Beatty’s lineman was away on vacation.

The firemen were called to the residence again later that night when some cottonwood stumps that had smoldered inside re-ignited.

The state fire marshal, who investigated the fire the next day, said that it started from a clothes dryer, but could not tell if it was from an electrical problem or from lint accumulation.

Harmon commented that there were no injuries from the fire. He also said that the only fire resulting from the fireworks was “one bush, and we put it out with a shovel.”

A separate call that night to the Happy Car Wash was a small fire in a trash container, and it was put out with a fire extinguisher.

Richard Stephens is a freelance reporter living in Beatty.

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