It has been a chaotic two weeks for local fire departments as multiple structures and incidents have added to their already busy workload.
On May 16, Mesquite Fire Rescue had responded to a porch fire on Hafen Lane, which had been put out before they got there. After that, they assisted Clark County, Beaver Dam and Logandale Fire Departments with a house fire on W. Second Street in Bunkerville that damaged a house and took the life of a family pet. Several bystanders and one woman who was believed to be one of the tenants had been treated by paramedics for smoke inhalation.
On May 17, MFR responded to the same location in Bunkerville for the same house fully engulfed in flames. As if the initial fire wasn’t suspicious enough, Clark County Assistant Fire Chief Larry Haydu told the MLN that it was even more suspicious, since it had been less than 24 hours since the initial fire. Neighbors and eyewitnesses on scene told the MLN that they had seen the tenant of the property return twice that day, trying to enter it. Others said that they had seen a couple of youth in the area. According to Clark County Fire Investigator Linda Poe, no conclusion has been drawn yet, and it could take weeks for the cause of both fires to be determined. “It is currently an ongoing investigation,” said Poe. She was unable to estimate when that investigation would conclude and if or when findings would be available. “It really depends on what kind of evidence we collect and what information we are given.”
Crews took a slight break before responding to a fire alarm at Siegel Suites, where they found a pulled alarm, but no witnesses and no evidence of a fire.
The action continued Monday, as Mesquite sent an engine to Toni Drive in Scenic for a double wide manufactured home that was engulfed in flames. With assistance from Beaver Dam and Bunkerville, the flames were still too much, as the trucks continuously ran out of water. “The amount of water an engine or tender will hold varies with each truck,” said Mesquite Fire Rescue Captain John Gately. “Most trucks can hold less than 1,000 gallons, while tenders are generally able to hold more than 1,500 gallons.” Eventually, the Bureau of Land Management also sent in resources to contain and extinguish what was left of the demolished home. All residents and their pets made it safely out of the home, and no one was treated for smoke inhalation. Mesquite Local News will be collecting donations for the displaced family, so please call 702-346-6397 and speak with Teri Nehrenz if interested.
Mesquite crews who assisted on the fire in Scenic had to leave early for a call out in Bunkerville on another fire. This time, according to Haydu, crews were called to a brush fire at 150 W. Virgin St. Thankfully, Engine 71 out of Bunkerville arrived and put the fire out within five minutes. “At this time, we have not determined the cause of the fire,” Haydu told the MLN.
The job wasn’t over for Mesquite crews, however, as they responded to a kitchen fire on Monday night at the Summer Winds Apartment Complex on Riverside Road. Captain Shawn Tobler told the MLN on scene that a stove or microwave may have caused the fire, but his investigation had not yet concluded. There was some water damage during the efforts to put the fire out, but the structure remained intact and the microwave was removed by Mesquite Police Officer Craig Empey.
Mesquite crews responded to one more fire Monday night, this time at Desert Shade Apartments on Sun Valley Drive. Reports point to an oily pan as the culprit of the flames and massive smoke that billowed out the door. “There was minimal damage, but the tenants had to stay elsewhere that night, pending minor electrical repairs,” said Gately.
This year marks the busiest so far in the past four years for Mesquite Fire Rescue, when compared to the same week each year. In 2014, crews responded to a total of 38 calls, one of which being fire related. That increased in 2015 to 53 calls and two fire related. 2016 shifted things askew with 47 calls and nine fire incidents. This year, however, the department has had 65 calls, with 14 of them being fire related.