A report of early morning explosions northwest of Flagstaff led to the total loss of a home just north of the city limits to fire Thursday.
The value of the loss was placed at $1 million.
“Neighbors reported hearing explosions,” said Capt. Paul Simpson of the Summit Fire Department.
Crews from both Flagstaff Fire Department and Summit responded at about 5:40 a.m. to the area, which turned out to be in the county on the 5000 block of North Weatherford Road.
“There was very heavy fire,” Simpson said, adding that when the first Flagstaff units arrived on the scene, the very large, three-story home was 50 percent involved in flames. The occupants of the home were able to evacuate when they became aware of the flames. No injuries were reported.
Simpson added that the first crews there set up for a defensive fire attack to keep the fire from spreading.
But, because there was no nearby water source, tender trucks from both Summit and Flagstaff had to shuttle water from the nearest hydrant on Highway 180, Simpson added.
“We were never able to get ahead of it as a result,” Simpson said. Firefighters actively fought the fire until well after 11 a.m. The home, worth in excess of $1 million, was a total loss.
Although some of the pine duff around the home caught fire, the fire did not spread into the forest, Simpson said. A total of six engines and two water tenders from both agencies responded to the fire.
The residents of the home were taken care of by the American Red Cross and have a place to go for the near future, Simpson said. According to information from the ARC Grand Canyon Chapter, the fire displaced a family of two adults, one child, five dogs and two cats. The team met with family members to determine their needs and the Red Cross Phoenix Chapter provided food, clothing and shelter assistance.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. Officials would not comment on the source of the explosions, but as of Thursday afternoon, Summit, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were on scene conducting an investigation into the cause of the fire.
Fire crews were scheduled to remain at the scene through the rest of the day Thursday, and to continue monitoring the scene for the next three days Simpson said.
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