KIRTLAND — Rushing from work Monday afternoon after receiving the phone call their home was on fire, Larry and Maxine McCabe were hoping the damage would be minimal.

Then Larry McCabe saw the trail of smoke in the sky.

"I was hoping it would be minimal but once I got on Copper Hill, I saw the smoke and I already knew, that's not minimal," Larry said.

Two districts of the San Juan County Fire Department were dispatched along with the Farmington Fire Department to 21 Road 6403 at 1:32 p.m., after a neighbor called in reporting the structure was completely involved with flames and smoke.

The fire also spread to the yard south of the house but it was contained to the property, leaving neighboring homes unscathed.

Vinyl siding on the south side of the house melted onto the ground, with the worst damage to the west side of the house.

San Juan County Sheriffs Deputies and paramedics were on scene as well but the house was declared clear of residents by firefighters as the blaze grew. FFD Battalion Chief David Burk said firefighters were pulled out of the home once the roof starting collapsing.

Ladders were used by two trucks to provide aerial spray on the attic and roof of the house.

The fire caused a overhead power line to break, causing Farmington Electric Utility System workers to disconnect power and cut the downed line.

The fire was contained within an hour after emergency services were dispatched, with crews mopping up the remaining hot spots, San Juan County Fire Marshall Chris Cardin said.


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Cardin, who managed and coordinated operations south of the structure, declared the home a complete loss.

Larry said he received notification of the fire from his son, who made the call from Kirtland Central High School.

The McCabes had two kittens in the home at the time. Larry said a neighbor broke a window and one of them jumped out while the other was unaccounted for.

Their neighbor across the street, Laverne Harrison, noticed the smell of the fire but didn't realize it came from the McCabe's home.

"We thought it was coming from our wood stove," Harrison said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation by San Juan County Fire Marshals.