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No happy New Year for victim of flames

A space heater may be to blame for a New Year’s Day fire that heavily damaged a home and left two pets dead.

Pahrump Valley Fire Rescue Services were dispatched around 9:29 a.m. Wednesday for a report of a structure fire at 2221 W. McMurray Drive.

When crews arrived, Fire Chief Scott Lewis said they discovered heavy fire conditions showing from a home on the property made up of a combination of double- and single-wide buildings as well as fixed frame structures.

“Upon arrival Medic Five found a heavy fire condition in what was not a single structure, but a number of structures including single, double and fixed frame structures that were tied together to form one residence. There were eight to 10 structures that were tied together to create a single residence,” Lewis explained. “Based on the fire load and fire conditions crews found, a defense exterior attack was mounted and crews did a great job protecting the attached exposure structures and other exposures that were on the property. The fire was placed under control approximately 45 to 50 minutes after our arrival.”

Although fire crews immediately launched a suppression effort to extinguish the blaze, Lewis said they were slightly impeded by several factors, including a live power source leading to the building and the size of the fire discovered upon their arrival.

“Impediments on the suppression effort included live power and an arcing pedestal. We had to create a safe area around the pedestal while we waited for Valley Electric to help us with that, but we otherwise continued our suppression effort,” the fire chief said.

Other issues firefighters had to work around included live ammunition that was discharging in the home as the fire burned, and other materials releasing from a nearby trailer.

Lewis said the fire was first reported to PVFRS after the sole occupant of the structure said they heard a loud popping sound.

“The single occupant was home and said they heard a large popping sound and went to investigate it and found the room involved in fire,” Lewis said. “The investigation revealed it was most likely an accidental fire, possibly related to the use of a space heater and/or the electrical arcing supplying power to that space heater.”

There were no human injuries to report from the blaze, but Lewis said it was believed two dogs died in the fire.

The fire chief said it appeared approximately 50 percent of the home was damaged by the flames, which is about where fire crews found it when they arrived on scene.

“The crews really did an outstanding job protecting both the attached exposures and the detached exposures on the property,” Lewis said.

As this fire was likely related to the use of a space heater, Lewis said it is a reminder to everyone in the community to always be vigilant when using a space heater and to remember to never overload electrical outlets or extension cords.

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