RMFD out house fire on Jan. 2
Rural Metro FD
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Cave Creek Residence destroyed by fire


Tara Alatorre

CAVE CREEK - Rural Metro Fire Department spent 20 hours extinguishing a house fire near 56th Street and Saguaro Road that ultimately consumed the home, and completely destroyed it on the evening of
Jan. 2.

Emergency response crews arrived on the scene around 11 p.m. to a multi-level home that was engulfed in flames.   Crews were called by an adult resident who woke up to the smell of smoke and discovered a fire in the second-story bedroom.  They were able to alert the other occupants and evacuate everyone safely, according to Rural Metro Fire Department.

 All four occupants of the home were able to self-evacuate including their animals, with only one of the residents sustaining minor burns on their hands.  The home had working smoke alarms, however the fire department is questioning if the placement of the smoke alarms caused a delayed activation, said Shawn Gilleland, spokesperson for Rural Metro Fire Department.

The location of the property caused restricted access for fire crews, and limited access to fire hydrants, which combined with the intensity of the fire created extremely difficult conditions for firefighters.  However, with the assistance of adjoining fire crews, Rural Metro FD was able to stop the fire from spreading to adjacent homes and surrounding desert areas, Gilleland said.

"Rural Metro crews spent close to 20 hours from the initial call subduing this fire," he said.

The home is expected to be a total loss, and the cause of the fire is unknown at this time.  Rural Metro said it has continued to check on the debris to ensure a second ignition does not start.

"Yesterday [Jan.7] they found a small pile of debris that was starting to smoke and flare up as the debris dried out and was exposed to breezy conditions," Gilleland said.

The home is owned by a well-known Cave Creek family, the Bakers, who founded the Carefree Animal Hospital that has been operating for decades and a driving force in the community.  Dr. Brent Baker, recently passed away this last November, but his family still lived in the residence.

There is a Go Fund Me campaign that has been setup for the family, for more information visit https://www.gofundme.com/help-the-baker-family-rebuild.