Serving the High Plains

Fire injures woman, kills three dogs

A house fire at midday Friday in Tucumcari rendered a couple homeless and killed three of their dogs.

One of the occupants, Sandra McLain, said she briefly was hospitalized for burns to her arms, shoulders, back and feet.

The blaze apparently started shortly after noon when McLain said she was in the shower.

Surrounded by flames, she barely had time to leave the house.

"My shirt was melting on me," she said in front of the destroyed home on Sunday afternoon. "I didn't have time to put on any shoes."

She said her three dogs perished in the fire. She said she tried to go back inside the flaming house to retrieve one of the animals, but a firefighter tackled her.

Lucas Bugg, Quay County's fire marshal and chief of District 1 firefighting department, said the home in the 400 block of South Rock Island Street was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

He said the fire's cause remains unknown. Bugg said the state fire marshal's office has been notified to investigate.

He said there were no other injuries.

McLain said the home was uninsured. It appeared to be a total loss.

The fire also scorched the side of a neighboring house, and the heat melted a part of the bumper of McLain's vehicle.

A neighbor, Patrick Rivera, was helping Sunday afternoon to see whether anything could be salvaged from the rubble.

She said she and Roldan Armentia have secured a room for a week at a local motel. She said several charities have provided clothing and other supplies. McLain added that a cashier at a dollar store took pity on her and bought her ointment for her burns.

 
 
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