Fire rips through area home

Clovis firefighters try to contain a fire at a house off U.S. Highway 60/84 Saturday in Clovis. Firefighters from Clovis, Cannon, and Texico were called to the fire around 9 p.m. CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth.

By Michelle Seeber

Investigators spent Sunday trying to learn the cause of two weekend house fires. A Saturday night fire demolished a 1,500-square-foot house at 1601 U.S. Highway 60/84 near Cannon Air Force Base, a fire official said. An unrelated fire on Sunday caused minor damage to a home at 901 Christopher in Clovis.
No one was injured in either fire, officials said.
Clovis Battalion Chief Ike Burns said the Saturday fire broke out about 9 p.m., drawing a water tanker from Texico and one from Cannon, in addition to two fire engines, a tanker and an ambulance from Clovis.
“The house was empty,” Burns said. “It was a wood frame house with stucco on the outside and asphalt shingles. It seemed like most of the fire was up in the attic.”
Fifteen to 20 firefighters were at the scene, he said, after the Clovis Fire Department received a phone call at 9:18 p.m., apparently from a passing motorist who saw flames from the highway.
The fire was under control by 1 a.m. Sunday, Burns said.
“We had somebody on the scene all night, then we went back out and cleaned it up later Sunday morning,” he said. “There was no fire hydrant out there, but we deal with that in the county all the time.”
Burns said the “old” house belonged to John McGuigg, who was living there but was not at home when the fire started.
Fire Chief Lewis Cooper of the Texico Volunteer Fire Department said Clovis called on two of his firefighters to help transport water.
“They shuttled about 8,000 gallons of water along with the Clovis and Cannon trucks,” Cooper said. “There were two of our firefighters at the scene, because that’s all it took to run it (the tanker). That’s all we sent.”
McGuigg could not be reached for comment.
Firefighters received their second weekend house-fire call at 9:48 p.m. Sunday. Burns said that fire may have started in a chimney or from an electrical malfunction.
Two people in the house smelled smoke and called firefighters before exiting the home.
“There were mostly smoldering bricks around the fireplace,” Burns said.