A structure fire in the community of Sunny Slopes left one home gutted, but also left the occupants and their dog unhurt.
At about 5:20 Friday evening, the Long Valley Fire Fighters were called out to 95 Pinyon Hill Road at Sunny Slopes for the report of a structure fire.
With the fire burning in the basement, weakening the floor above, Long Valley Fire Chief Fred Stump says hes grateful that the occupants are safe and all his fire fighters are safe as well. A fire fighter who opened the front door, put his foot through the floor, forcing fire fighters to find a different entry into the building. Chief Stump says that as the living room floor collapsed, the flames were freed up and started to spread to the rest of the house.
The fire might have been burning for 45 minutes to an hour before the woman who lived in the home noticed the smoke, according to Chief Stump. The occupant had heard a whistling noise from the basement, which could have been a water line bursting and saw smoke coming from the floor. The woman then enlisted help from the neighbors to try to fight the fire with fire extinguishers, until they opened the garage and saw the true extent of the fire.
What caused the fire is not known for certain. Chief Stump says that with a partially collapsed floor above the origin of the fire in the basement, the scene hasn’t been safe enough yet to finish the investigation. The Chief does say that the fire was accidental and that so far he thinks the fire had an electrical cause possibly related to the dryer.
Chief Stump says that the fire fighters did a good job and despite the heavy damage, he says the home could be re-built. The home is owned by a couple who lives in Montana, the chief explained, and the two tenants that live in the home are renters who do not have renters insurance.