SPARKS — A blaze that most likely started in the kitchen of a home at 1959 Alpland Court was quickly contained, leaving an older two-story home with only a burned-out kitchen and smoke damage.
“We were able to contain the fire the the kitchen” said Batallian Chief Barry Hagan. “It was a very effective operation.”
The resident and her friends who were helping her move into the home that day — a house that had sat unoccupied for more than 18 months — had just driven away with the U-Haul and were returning with more boxes when they discovered their new home was engulfed in flames.
When they pulled into the driveway, flames were shooting from the back of the house, said neighbor Shirley Stenernegel.
“I just could see the smoke billowing out,” Stenernegel said, as she stood in her driveway and watched firemen mop up following the fire attack. “I guess it’s pretty extensive.”
Neighbors called emergency dispatch once they saw the flames, Hagan said. A fire engine with a three-person crew from Station 2 responded a 5:59 p.m. — three minutes after the 9-1-1 call. Federal regulations restrict three-man crews from entering the home, but the crew was able to size up the situation from outside the structure and begin “pouring water on the fire to knock it down,” Hagan said. “We started a quick transitional (defensive) attack.”
Once the second crew arrived two minutes after, firefighters could enter the home and begin attacking the blaze from the inside, Hagan said. Fire crews also were able to determine that no one was inside the home. No one was injured in the incident.
“There was no explosion or other major damage,” he said.
In all, 19 first responders arrived on scene, including four engines, one fire truck, a safety officer and battalion chief.
“The heaviest damage occurred in the kitchen area,” Hagan said.
The fire appears to have started in the kitchen, however, the investigation is ongoing and will take some time to figure out exactly what started the fire, Hagan said.
The young woman who decided to move in Friday won’t be able to spend the night at the home because of the extensive damage to the kitchen and smoke damage throughout the house.
“They were just moving in today — Friday the 13th!” said neighbor Sonny Medina, who watched the scene from across the street with his wife Pat and neighbor Melissa Brown.
Medina said the house had been listed for sale and unoccupied for a year and a half. The Medinas, 25-year residents of the home that is situated in a cul-de-sac, didn’t realize they had a new neighbor until they saw NV Energy crews turning on power to the home Friday morning.
The quiet neighborhood is made up of mostly seniors in their 60s and 70s who watch out for each other, he said.
“One fireman told us it was probably a breaker,” Median said.
“It’s sad,” he said. “The day they moved in.”