By Roger Lanse

According to Whiskey Creek Fire Department Chief Daniel Salaiz, the New Mexico State Fire Marshal’s office has determined the cause of the structure fire early Tuesday morning Mar. 26, 2024, at 64 Racetrack Road in Arenas Valley, was electrical in nature.

The single-wide mobile home was about 75 percent engulfed when the WCFD arrived at the inferno shortly after midnight, after being paged out a few minutes before. the Chief Salaiz said, and was a total loss. 

Salaiz, who was the incident commander, told the Beat that other agencies assisting, in addition to the WCFD’s six personnel were; Ft Bayard FD with six, Santa Clara FD sending five, and Tyrone FD and Pinos Altos FD each with two. The Grant County Sheriff’s Office, PNM, and Gila Regional Medical Center-EMS responded to the fire as well. Also on scene was Grant County Fire Chief Roger Groves. Three command vehicles, four engines, and five water tenders from the various agencies were deployed. At 3:45 a.m. an emergency call went out due to an engine from the FBFD laying over on its passenger side as it was leaving the scene caused by the soft ground giving way under the weight of the vehicle. The two firefighters inside were not injured as the accident was described as a ‘slow-motion’ roll into a ditch, according to Ft Bayard Fire Department Chief Eugne Rodriguez, however, the engine was severely damaged.

One male civilian was transported to GRMC for burns and was treated there and released.

According to Salaiz, the fire site was monitored well into the early afternoon by WCFD personnel, and cleared.

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