From Chief Rodriquez: Just before 10am this morning (1/13), the On-Duty staff was alerted of a structure fire west of the station. Crews responded and on arrival found the patio of a home well involved with fire extension to the interior of the first and second floor living space. Attack was made on the patio knocking down the main body of the fire and crews made entry for a search of the first and second floors looking for any occupants; none where found. Crews confronted heavy fire, smoke and heat, especially on the second floor, hindering their search and firefighting efforts. Crews from Heber/Overgaard, Christopher/Kohls and Hellsgate Fire Districts assisted with firefighting efforts utilizing the mutual aid system. AMR Ambulance provided a Command Officer for support functions [Cris Lecher] and a Lifeline Ambulance was moved from Payson into Forest Lakes for medical standby and district coverage. The Christopher/Kohls Fire Chief also responded for command support and safety responsibilities. A request for an investigator was made and Fire Chief Willie Nelson from Taylor/Snowflake responded for the fire investigation. No cause has been determined as of this writing. The home suffered significant damage and is uninhabitable. There were no injuries. Deputy Robert McKeever responded off-duty to assist along with APS as they secured power to the home. Thanks to the Water District for responding and assisting with fireground activities.
I would especially like to thank Heber/Overgaard Fire Chief Dee McCluskey for his quick response and command of the incident. His presence provided for the safety and well-being of all personnel who were operating in a very dangerous environment. Thank you Chief for a job well done.