A Monday afternoon fire caused considerable damage to a two-story Harrigan Road home and also killed one of the family pets as firefighters battled the blaze and thick smoke for several hours.
Fire Chief Fred Rogne of the Fallon/Churchill Fire Department said four engines and four tenders, along with 35 firefighters from the city and Naval Air Station Fallon, were called to the fire on 2705 Harrigan Road at about 3:15 p.m.
Earlier in the day, Rogne said the home’s owner, Larry Pruitt, was burning cotton behind the house. Rogne said Pruitt extinguished the fire and left the house; however, according to Pruitt, who was at his house on Tuesday morning surveying the damage, the afternoon winds returned to the valley, thus whipping up the small burn patch. Rogne said the house caught fire and small flames began to consume the east side.
Compounding the firefighting efforts, according to Rogne, was the location of the natural gas meter and pipe on the same side of the fire.
“We couldn’t get to it right away,” Rogne said of the firefighting efforts. “The whole east side of the house was burning. We couldn’t shut it (the gas) off, so the gas company had to find another line before they pinched it off.”
Firefighters were called out again after 7:30 p.m. when area residents noticed smoke coming out of the building again.
“There was substantial damage to the house and contents,” Rogne said.
The two-story portion of the residence was gutted out, but the front part of the house, which included the living room, received heavy smoke damage.
Although no one was injured, Rogne said one of the family dogs died.
Also on the scene were paramedics from Banner Churchill Community Hospital and Fallon Animal Control. The Churchill County Sheriff’s Office and Nevada Department of Transportation provided traffic control.