Fire guts southeast ABQ home

Updated: 01/04/2014 10:17 PM | Created: 01/04/2014 10:16 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Wind actually helped firefighters keep flames from spreading in a fire that gutted a house in Albuquerque’s South Broadway neighborhood Saturday afternoon.

Wind blowing from west to east kept flames from spreading into the rear half of the house at 1017 Arno SE, and helped protect neighboring houses too.

Members of the Lopez family were in the house when the fire broke out.

“We just came home so I could take a shower for work,” said Rachael Lopez. “When I was in the shower my son came in from outside and said the porch is on fire Mom – the porch is on fire – there’s a fire! And I ran out to see what was going on and the whole porch was in flames!”

Eleven fire trucks responded.  Firefighters feared the flames would spread to nearby houses in the old neighborhood near the railroad tracks.

“All fires are different,” said Capt. Henry Chavez of the Albuquerque Fire department. “ It depends on the materials burning, but particular materials out on a porch – once it gets involved and the whole structure starts getting involved it can spread very fast, especially on a windy day. Wind-blown fire is very dangerous.”

“I’m very grateful, very grateful,” Rachael Lopez said. “If my son didn’t come in the shower and tell me what was going on, then me and my dog probably wouldn’t have been out in time.”

The dog, a white Chihuahua, seemed to enjoy all of the activity, probably not realizing what a close call he and his people had just survived.

No one was hurt. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The house is uninhabitable, at least for now.

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