Fire departments team up to battle house blaze
While its origin is unknown, the end results of recent fire left a house in Mills Canyon near Magdalena destroyed.
Hop Canyon volunteer firefighter Michael Mideke said firefighters arrived at 1:15 p.m. March 30 to see the 2,000-square-foot straw bale home engulfed.
“The only thing intact I could see was a set of barbells,” Mideke said. “It was the hottest one I’ve seen since the high school’s bonfire that got out of control.”
Hop Canyon Fire Chief Jim Bookland said the intensity of the fire makes it nearly impossible to identify its cause.
Firefighters responded as soon as they got the call, but the relative remoteness of the property — 10 miles down Highway 107 and two more miles down a forest road – slowed down the arrival time.
“Magdalena Fire Department was first on the scene and they assisted for the rest of the day and overnight,” Mideke said. “The U.S. Forest Service also responded because of the threat of spot fires in the direction of the nearby woods.”
Magdalena Fire Chief Richard Rumpf said his team responded with two trucks and four volunteers.
“Nobody was home, but neighbors all along the route were pointing us where to go,” Rumpf said.
Bookland said trees close to the veranda on the east side of the house were burned. And with high winds off and on, Bookland said he was surprised it didn’t spread.
Rumpf and firefighter Michael Bisbee stayed on the scene to watch the fire from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m., to make sure it didn’t flare back up.
The home owners could not be contacted as of press time.