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Cause of Somerton fire still unknown
The cause of a fire that destroyed a second-hand store Saturday in Somerton remained undetermined and under investigation Monday, a Somerton/Cocopah Fire Department spokesman said. La Segunda La Mesa Yard Sale was located at 14801 Avenue B in Somerton, and not in Yuma, as was previously reported, said Robby Rodriguez, spokesman for the department.
Assisting the Somerton/Cocopah department in fighting the blaze were fire departments from San Luis, Ariz., Yuma and Rural/Metro Fire Department. The Arizona Department of Public Safety closed off Highway 95 and other nearby roads during the fire, Rodriguez said.
"It was a huge fire," Rodriguez said. "It didn't go into any of the residential areas because all the departments worked together."
Jesse Carlos, Somerton/Cocopah fire inspector, continued to investigate the cause of the fire on Monday, Rodriguez said.
The fire also threatened the Max Auto Mart next door, which had 25 vehicles on the lot, three of which suffered cosmetic damage, Rodriguez said.
An eyewitness, Jerry Williams of Yuma, said he was on his way to a swap-meet on Avenue 4E when he saw "a plume of black smoke" from the fire.
He said traffic quickly cleared a path to allow police and firefighters through to the fire.
"I was coming up the street from 32nd on my way to the outdoor market," Williams said. "I think there was about eight to 10 cars in the lot and another 15 cars on one side of the street and six on the other. Police blocked off the intersection and there was no hindrance whatsoever for the fire trucks."
He added he was impressed how other witnesses took the initiative to get out of the way of emergency vehicles before they arrived. It took about five to six minutes for the fire department to arrive, yet it seemed longer, Williams said.
Rodriguez credited the fluid cooperation of the various departments to their new radio system. The new inter-operable system allows all departments in the area to tune in to the same mutual aid channel and make operations more efficient, Rodriguez said.
William Roller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6858.