Fire damages house off La Plata Highway

Steve Garrison

FARMINGTON — San Juan County and Farmington firefighters worked for several hours Monday morning to extinguish a house fire on La Plata Highway.

Farmington Fire Department Battalion Chief Andy Ebner said firefighters were dispatched at approximately 7:30 a.m. to a house at 734A N.M. Highway 170 after receiving reports of a fire. Ebner said the blaze had spread to more than half of the house by the time crews arrived.

No one was inside the house at the time of the fire, and no injuries were reported.

The fire caused several propane tanks and batteries inside the residence to explode, and smoke was visible from the highway for about a mile in either direction. Traffic along the highway was also shut down as crews worked on the fire.

Firefighters prepare to battle a house fire on Monday at a home off the La Plata Highway north of Farmington.

Firefighters battled the fire until approximately 10 a.m., when additional crews were called in to spray fire suppressant on the building's remains and begin cleanup.

Ebner said a lack of accessible water was a challenge for crews, and units pulled water from the Farmington municipal water system, which was putting stress on the system.

Battalion Chief Jay Balfour said the fire consumed approximately 20,000 gallons of water.

Amanda Romano-Kibel, disaster program manager for Northwestern New Mexico American Red Cross, confirmed that Red Cross volunteers responded to the fire and provided assistance to the victims.

Deputy Chief David Burke said the San Juan County Fire Department was tasked with investigating the cause of the fire.

Steve Garrison covers crime and court for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644.

A fire consumes a house off the La Plata Highway north of Farmington on Monday morning.