Family displaced when structure fire destroys home near Beaver Dam

ST. GEORGE — Fire crews battled an early morning structure fire Thursday in the Jones Flat area of Beaver Dam Arizona that destroyed a home and left the family displaced.

Shortly after 6 a.m. MDT, firefighters and emergency personnel were dispatched to a structure fire reported on Joshua Tree in the area near Jones Flat, an unincorporated area on the outskirts of Beaver Dam, involving a double-wide mobile home that caught fire and burned through the home very quickly, Beaver Dam Littlefield Fire Chief Jeff Hunt said.

The family was able to evacuate the home safely while the fire department was en route.

Fire crews arrived to find the home fully involved in flames that had burned through the ceiling and roof area, which caving in. Crews were soon joined by the Mesquite Fire Department.

As soon as they arrived they initiated a defensive attack on the exterior of the home to protect the surrounding structures and mitigate the damage.

Fire rages through home in the Jones Flat area of Beaver Dam, Ariz., Aug. 12, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Beaver Dam-Littlefield Fire District, St. George News

Hunt said this type of attack is typically used when the fire has progressed to a point that it becomes too dangerous or unstable for firefighters to enter and initiate an attack from inside the structure.

After several hours the fire was contained. All nearby vehicles, outbuildings and other property was spared and left undamaged, while the mobile home was completely destroyed.

Crews remained at the scene conducting an overhaul to ensure that any embers that could smolder and reignite were completely extinguished, and nearly 12 hours after the first page went out, crews were cleared from the scene.

What made this fire particularly challenging, as is the case with many structures fires in that area, is that any water needed to fight the fire had to be transported to the scene using special fire trucks called water tenders.

There are very few fire hydrants in the more rural areas, Hunt said, because in most cases, the homes in the unincorporated areas are equipped with their own water source, typically pumped into the home from a well, so there are no common water lines running underground that are maintained by a town or city.

Moreover, each regular engine pumps 1,500 gallons of water a minute, Hunt said, so the only source that can handle that type of pressure is a municipal water source.

During Thursday’s fire, two water tenders were rotated during the fire; as one truck provided water, the second truck was being filled. That way, he said, they had a steady supply of water for firefighting operations.

Home is destroyed following structure fire reported in the Jones Flat area of Beaver Dam, Ariz., Aug. 12, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Beaver Dam-Littlefield Fire District, St. George News

Hunt also said the cause of the fire is unknown, and the level of damage inside of the structure made it virtually impossible to find where it actually started.

The family was displaced when their home was destroyed, so Mesquite Fire Chief Jayson Andrus helped to connect the family to the American Red Cross, and relief workers were able provide them with  temporary shelter and emergency provisions.

No injuries were reported.

This report is based on statements from police, emergency personnel or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. 

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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