Tucumcari Fire Department Chief Larry Rigdon surveys the damage from a fire at a house on Fourth Street. (Sun Photo by Ryan Lengerich)
A Tucumcari man arrived home to find his living room ablaze Tuesday evening.
He was able to extinguish the fire with a garden hose before calling the fire department.
David Lopez returned to his home at 1406 S. Fourth St. around 7:30 from his sister's house in Albuquerque, when he said he thought his neighbor’s house was on fire.
Instead, he pulled up to his house and opened the door to find the television in his living room spitting flames.
“It must have just (recently) happened because when I walked in the living room was on fire,” Lopez said.
According to Tucumcari Deputy Fire Chief Larry Rigdon, the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Lopez said investigators first thought the fire was electrical, but he said the television was unplugged.
“They were thinking somebody burned my house down,” he said.
Rigdon said the investigation has been turned over to police. Local police officials could not be reached for comment late Tuesday night.
Lopez said he ran to his vehicle and grabbed a garden hose out of his trunk and attached it to a valve outside. He and his girlfriend then began extinguishing the fire themselves.
Lopez said because he had no telephone, he sent his girlfriend to find help.
Lopez said that he “saved the house” but lost nearly all of what was inside to smoke and water damage. Lopez said he called the fire department when he realized the ceiling was still hot.
A hole in the side window leading to the living room could be seen, but Lopez said he doesn’t know how it happened and doesn’t know anyone who would want to set his house on fire.
“I get along with everybody,” he said.