Man saves home from Moriarty grass fire

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MORIARTY, N.M. – Many residents remain on edge after scary grass fires near Moriarty burned 174-acres. Three homes and seven other structures were burned.

The fire is now out, but people in that neighborhood woke up to the nightmare left behind.

KOB 4 spoke with one family who saw one of those homes go up in flames. 

They say what happened hasn’t really sunk in for them. They say the fire was so close that they could feel the heat. 

One neighbor we spoke with ran directly into that heat.

“It was just a blur, cause I was trying to get everybody. My wife, the kids, my dad – they all took care of the kids, and my brother,” said Michael Baca. 

Baca didn’t get much sleep Sunday night, he was too worried about embers catching fire again. 

One pile was his neighbor’s house. Baca says elderly women lived there. 

So, when his children told him they saw a fire in their backyard – he jumped into action.

“My wife told me about the lady and I remembered so we hopped the fence, it’s still smashed down, and ran into her house,” said Baca.

Baca’s neighborhood near Moriarty caught fire Sunday afternoon. The flames circled his house, but had already engulfed his neighbor’s.

“I ran inside, cause there was another lady in the house too, and I came outside to try and see where the fire was, and it was already on the back of their house,” Baca said. 

He ran into the burning home to make sure they got out. 

“I wasn’t even thinking, I was just trying to make sure everyone was OK, trying to make sure she got out, and ran back in my yard and let me animals out,” said Baca. 

The flames weren’t the only thing Baca was up against. 

“She had all the oxygen tanks, they just kept blowing up. I was trying to put out all the stuff in my yard and I heard one of the oxygen tanks whistle, and I ducked, and it exploded,” said Baca. 

Baca says he’s lucky to still have a house. People can see how close the fire got, stopping where he had just cleaned the brush in the yard.

“Always keep an eye out I guess, make sure you keep your yards up as much as possible to stop the spread at least, he said. 

Baca says he talked to the women Sunday, and they’re OK but heartbroken at losing their home. He says right now they’re staying at a nearby hotel.