Wind gusts push flames from house to house in midtown Tucson fire

2014-05-14T13:29:00Z 2014-05-14T13:34:33Z Wind gusts push flames from house to house in midtown Tucson fireKimberly Matas Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 14, 2014 1:29 pm  • 

A midtown home and storage building were destroyed Wednesday morning and a neighboring home was heavily damaged when high winds quickly pushed a fire from building to building.

Firefighters were called, at about 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, to a home fire in the 200 block of East Drachman Street at North Sixth Avenue.

“The gusts of up to 30 miles per hour pushed the fire from a house to the neighboring house and yard to the west, including several palm trees,” Capt. Barrett Baker, spokesman for the Tucson Fire Department, said in a news release. “The flames were upwards of 25 feet in the air as Tucson Fire units arrived on scene.”

The first engine company reported heavy smoke and flames from the rear of a house.

Firefighters pulled hose lines into the house and extinguished the flames as they searched the premisses for residents, but no one was home, Baker said.

At the same time, another engine company evacuated a neighboring house because the fire had spread across the backyards.

The first home and a storage building on the property were destroyed in the blaze and the neighboring home had heavy exterior damaged.

The main electrical line into the first house was severed by the flames, posing an additional safety concern for firefighters, Baker said.

It took nine units and 23 firefighters 20 minutes to extinguish the fire.

The cause and origin of the fire are still being investigated, and Baker did not have a cost estimate of the damage.

“High winds can be a major concern when a fire breaks out. Having a defensible space around the home is a way to prevent a fire from spreading into the house,” Baker said. “Thinning and pruning plants and shrubs will reduce the combustible fuel around the home, and the less fuel the better. “

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