Man, 3-year-old escape Black Canyon City fire
BLACK CANYON CITY - Quick work by the Black Canyon, Mayer and Daisy Mountain Fire departments kept a Thursday, March 26, house fire on Albins Way in Black Canyon City from spreading to nearby structures.
A man, his 3-year-old child, and two dogs escaped the fire without injuries, thanks to a working smoke alarm, said Black Canyon Fire Chief Tom Birch.
Birch said his department received the call about the fire at 2:53 a.m. and firefighters were on scene within six minutes. They found a mobile home with additions and two basements.
"The fire was already rolling through the second story of the building," he said.
Black Canyon called in backup from Mayer and Daisy Mountain because of winds and the close proximity of other homes to the fire. Even then, Birch said, firefighters had a difficult time putting the fire completely out because the structure was collapsing in on itself, and a double basement made the floors unsafe.
Adding to the danger, ammunition in the home was exploding and a gas leak was feeding the fire in the basement, Birch said.
"I shut off the gas meter when we got there," he said. "But there was still blue flame in the basement. The gas company said sometimes those valves don't shut off all the way."
Birch said firefighters used foam to fill the basement, but "we kept hearing explosions. The leak would find the ignition source and relight."
Birch said he was proud of his firefighters for keeping the fire from damaging structures and vegetation as close as 15 feet to the fire. Firefighters were also able to save two vehicles in the driveway and a playhouse in the yard.
"We couldn't save the house, but we saved the rest of the street. It could have easily gotten out of control," he said.
Birch said nearby fire hydrants were a help in fighting the blaze. They weren't close enough to hook up hose, he said, but they were helpful in filling tankers. He said the department is still investigating the cause of the fire.