One person was seriously injured and two homes were completely destroyed in a fire last evening in the Hillcrest Bay neighborhood north of Parker. 20 firefighters fought back the blaze. Gasoline exploded in a garage accidentally and was determined to be the cause.
“We were pretty concerned when we first got there that we would lose even more than we did,” said Buckskin Fire Chief Troy Maloney, speaking with Parker Live. “There was exposure to five other homes. They were in a lot of jeopardy.”
The call came at 6:10 pm, when Buckskin’s 1102, 1101 and 1100 units responded to initial reports of a brush fire in Hillcrest Bay. The neighborhood is located just off State Route 95 near the Bill Williams River Bridge. But when the first truck got there, instead of a brush fire, the firefighters discovered that two structures were burning.
“[They] upgraded the incident to a working structure fire and made an offensive attack,” Maloney wrote in his Significant Incident Report. “1101 stopped at Station 211, split their crew and responded both 1101 and 1132. An off-duty BFD Captain responded to Station 11 and brought 1131 to the scene.”
A request was made for additional units: an engine from Parker Fire Department, a tender from CRIT Fire Department and an engine from Lake Havasu City Fire Department. CRIT Fire did not have a tender available but provided district coverage for Parker Fire. Lake Havasu City and Desert Hills Fire Department responded.
Shortly thereafter, bystanders told the responders that a person was there with severe burns. American Medical Response was requested to respond to the scene and a medical helicopter was put on standby. AMR began care when they arrived, and transported the patient away.
“There was a man in his garage working on an automobile,” Maloney said. “There was a gas explosion and it started a pretty big gas fire in the garage which is what spread. That individual was flown to Maricopa Burn Center with non- life-threatening injuries, but the injuries are very serious. Burns on the extremities can really impair movement; his hands and legs, it’s very serious.”
Video: La Paz County Sheriff’s Department
Two additional Buckskin units, 2201 and 2203, two engines from Lake Havasu City with a Battalion Chief, and an engine from Desert Hills assisted in protecting the surroundings structures and held the fire to the two original structures. La Paz County Sheriff’s Department also responded to the scene.
The fire personnel were there until 3 am, with one unit staying throughout the night to watch for re-ignition.
Maloney told Parker Live that there were some factors that made the incident more challenging, including the close proximity of homes to one another in the neighborhood and the lack of fire hydrants.
“Lack of water supply was a major issue in this event,” the report states. “Water had to be shuttled from Havasu Springs Resort. The exposures to the west sustained heavy damage to a boat and several PWCs and minor damage to a garage. A total of two homes were completely destroyed.”