No one injured in house fire

by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

A fire destroyed a manufactured home on South Monroe Street early Tuesday afternoon.

No one was injured in the blaze that was thought to have started in one side of the home, where a bath and bedroom are located.

Tucumcari Fire Chief Mike Cherry said an investigation of the fire would be turned over to the state fire marshal in Santa Fe because firefighters could not find an accidental cause.

Homeowner Norma Holcomb, who rushed from her job at Alco, arrived at her home, got out of her car and said, “My dogs.”

Within minutes, a schnauzer, Mickie, ran up and jumped into Holcomb’s arms after spotting her from across a neighbor’s yard.

Luckily, Shep, a border collie, and Mickie were not inside the home and had been let out of Holcomb’s fenced yard by a man visiting a next-door neighbor.

John Johnson, who had joined Amado Martinez to help with a home project, said he and Martinez had driven up to Martinez’ home about 10 minutes earlier and did not notice any trouble. But, in less than five minutes, Johnson, who was outside, said, “I heard popping, saw smoke and knocked hard (on Martinez’ door) and told him to call 911.”

Johnson said he then went around to the other side of the mobile home, saw the dogs in the fenced yard and let them out to be away from any smoke and fire hazard.

Five units from the Tucumcari Fire Department responded to the fire, which caused smoke to engulf the entire inside and outside of the mobile home at one point. Cherry said the actual fire was confined to the bath and bedroom in the back section of the home, but there was smoke damage throughout the home.

Firefighters had to enter with caution because ammunition belonging to Holcomb’s husband, Steve, was set off in the fire and could have caused schrapnel-like injuries, Cherry said.

Neighbor Martinez said he thought Holcomb’s husband was at a construction job outside of Tucumcari.

After the fire was under control and firefighters checked for hot spots, a Tucumcari police officer removed several rifles from the house for safekeeping.

Holcomb, who was visibly shaken, said she would be staying with relatives.