Fire that destroyed home blamed on high winds
A Yuma home was destroyed by a fire Wednesday night after the strong wind gusts that caused massive power outages in the area pushed the flames through the home and sparked several spot fires around it, officials said.
Just after midnight, the Yuma Fire Department was called to the 900 block of South 5th Avenue, where a home was fully engulfed by flames, said Steve Legros, YFD spokesman.
Legros said fire crews began attacking the fire but soon realized the heavy winds were making the fire burn faster and hotter than they expected.
"It was just blowing like crazy and intensifying the fire," he said. "It was actually pushing (the fire) through the attic and made the house unsafe to enter, so we went into a defensive mode and fought the fire from outside the house."
Making matters worse was that the wind was blowing embers off the home and causing small fires that had to be dealt with, Legros said.
"We would try to get a handle on the fire and we would have spot fires start," he said. "If we would have been able to focus on the fire, we would have been able to knock it down quickly."
All the fires, big and small, were eventually put out, but Legros said the home was a total loss. He said the owners were living in a small trailer parked behind the home and investigators determined the fire started in the generators that were plugged into the trailer.
It was unclear why the family wasn't living in the home, but Legros said there was no power hooked up to it.
Legros said six fire engines and 25 firefighters were called to the scene, and said the department had to call firefighters in to help staff northern Yuma. Marine Corps Air Station Yuma firefighters helped staff the south end of town, Legros said.