Originally Published: August 19, 2009 6:56 a.m.
An intense fire completely destroyed a Black Canyon City home at the intersection of Squaw Valley and Topaz Roads Saturday afternoon, and put four firefighters in mortal danger.
The occupants were not at home when the fire erupted around 3 p.m., said BC Fire Chief Tom Birch. Preliminary reports indicate the fire may have begun in the attic space.
"Flames were visible when our first unit arrived on the scene. The arriving crews went inside to search for any occupants, and the seat of the fire, however, the heavy smoke and heat conditions were worsening extremely rapidly.
"The fire was so intense we had to change our tactics from offensive interior to defensive exterior," Birch said.
Birch saw the change in the smoke, he said, and ordered the crews out of the building. One came right out, but two firefighters became disoriented, and Capt. Gordon Hanchett returned to the building and pulled them to safety.
"They had literally moments to get out alive," Birch said. "When Capt. Hanchett brought the men out, his turnouts were smoking. "We came close to losing four firefighters."
Black Canyon City residents on the scene rescued four dogs outside the house.
Mayer and Daisy Mountain Fire Departments assisted BCFD on the fire and crews remained on the scene into the evening.
Birch said the cause of the fire still is under investigation.