Two area families had property destroyed by fire over the weekend with a train engine fire adding to what was a busy weekend for the Deming Fire Department.

Shortly after 11 a.m. on Friday, Deming firefighters were dispatched to the 1000 block of Allen Street to find a single story brick home on fire. The fire was contained in about 10 minutes with no injuries to the occupants nor responders.

"By the time our units got on scene, it was pretty much, I want to say, 25 to 30 percent involved with smoke damage to the majority of the home and contents," DFD Chief Edgar Davalos said. "The majority of the damage was to the kitchen and Jacuzzi room."

He said investigation of the fire has led him to believe an overturned space heater began the blaze. He stressed that those who use electric space heaters should be extra vigilant of when it is in operation and where it is placed. Heaters should be kept away from rubbish, drapes and other clothe household items and they should especially be kept on a flat surface without anything around it.

"Make sure your pets aren't running around heaters," he added. "Most heaters nowadays are built to turn off automatically if they're tipped over, but there still might be enough residual heat if it lands on papers to light it."

The homeowner, Daniel Armendariz, says the only portions of his home remaining are three outside walls.

"I have plenty of insurance on everything," he said. "Everything is covered and everybody is safe.


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He is in temporary housing for now while contractors start the cleanup and rebuilding efforts. He has also established an account for donations at 1st New Mexico Bank for expenses that aren't covered by insurance. The account number is 24226801.

The second house fire occurred at about 4 p.m. on Sunday. Firefighters were dispatched to the 500 block of Hemlock Street in reference to a single story apartment home on fire. The surrounding units were evacuated as part of the response.

Only the one unit and a pine tree behind the building caught on fire. The unit suffered fire damage to the kitchen, where Chief Davalos believes it originated. The rest of the home saw smoke and heat damage.

A second fire at about 9:45 p.m. on Sunday had firefighters dispatched to the train tracks just north of mile marker 65 on Interstate 10. The second engine on a freight train suffered an electrical fire, according to the Luna County Sheriff's Office report. Deming firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze.


Matt Robinson can be reached at mrobinson@demingheadlight.com