Courtesy of Daisy Mountain Fire Department
Pictured: DMFD battles a fire that destroyed an abandoned home in Desert Hills on the morning of January 25.
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abandoned Desert Hills home ravaged by fire


Tara Alatorre

DESERT HILLS – The Daisy Mountain Fire Department responded to a call after an abandoned home caught fire and became engulfed in flames near 7th Avenue and Irvine Road on the morning of January 25.

Jenny Shae, a Desert Hills resident, called 911 after she noticed smoke billowing from a home on the corner of her block.

“Several fire trucks and sheriff vehicles responded within minutes,” Shae said.

When fire crews arrived on scene they immediately called for additional resources due to the size of the fire.  When firefighters kicked in the door they were instantly met with high-heat and heavy smoke indicating the house was well engulfed in flames.  Fire crews initially believed it was a one-story home, but quickly realized there was a basement, which was putting firefighters at serious risk due to the likelihood of the floor collapsing.z

“Soon it was determined that this house had a basement which adds serious challenges in a firefight,” said Paul Schickel, DMFD Community Services Program Coordinator.  “Because of the intensity of the fire, crews decided to withdraw and fight it from the outside.”

Shortly after firefighters arrived the roof and floor collapsed into the basement.  Crews remained on the scene throughout the morning; the house is a complete loss.  DMFD says the house appears to have been vacant because it was boarded up, and no people or animals were found on the property.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to DMFD.

DMFD deployed all three new water tankers that were purchased through a bond passed by property owners in 2015. The tankers transport and pump water at high pressure, and assist the department with extinguishing fires in areas that don’t have fire hydrants.

“All three of the new tankers were utilized at today’s fire and were highly effective in helping to extinguish the blaze,” said Schickel.

While most of DMFD’s on-duty personnel were deployed at the Desert Hills house fire, fire trucks from Phoenix and Glendale were moved to DMFD stations and responded to other emergencies, as other 911 calls came in.