Lyon fire destroys Stagecoach home

STAGECOACH - A mid-morning fire engulfed a Stagecoach home Wednesday, resulting in irreversible structural damage and leaving two cats dead.

Two Lyon County sheriff's deputies on their way to work saw smoke at the residence at 9860 Wade Ave. and reported the fire about 8:30 a.m. When fire crews arrived minutes later, flames had overtaken the rear of the 1,800- squarefoot double-wide modular home.

The fire was out by 11:30 a.m.

"We're not sure where the fire started, but the flames were confined to the rear for the most part," said Central Lyon Fire Prevention Specialist Mary Ellen Holly. "It spread throughout the space underneath."

Holly said the cause has not yet been determined, but an investigation is under way. Homeowner Thomas O'Connell and girlfriend Melanie Hudson were notified by early afternoon. O'Connell works in Reno and Hudson works in Carson City.

The two cats killed in the fire were trapped inside, Holly said.

Holly said the home, estimated at $40,000, was built recently in an era of strict fire codes. She said newer mobiles are less prone to burn than their predecessors.

Although the structure is expected to be a total loss, Holly said firefighters were able to save much of the couple's furniture and possessions thanks to a strong effort by volunteer firefighters.

Firefighters from Silver City, Dayton, Nevada Division of Forestry and Silver Springs arrived with two fire trucks and two water tenders to stop the fire's spread.

Investigators from the state fire marshal's office are expected to determine the cause, Holly said.

Two Douglas County homes burned Tuesday, the flames stoked by high winds, officials said.

A Topaz Ranch Estates modular home was destroyed, leaving four related elderly residents and two dogs homeless. Homeowner Marvin McLaughlin, 90, had to be helped out of the house.

Residents at that home, located at 1410 Walkerview Road, reported what they believed to be a brushfire just outside of the window at 8:40 a.m., said East Fork Fire Marshall Steve Eisele. The brush, as well as several trees around the house, ignited when sparks from the chimney mixed with 15 mph to 20 mph winds.

"It's an older unit with plywood paneling, so even though we got the fire knocked out pretty quick, it was destroyed," he said. "The ends of the unit were standing, but the middle was totally knocked out."

The damage estimate was between $65,000 and $80,000.

No other buildings were close enough to necessitate additional evacuations, Eisele said.

The American Red Cross provided motel accommodations while the foursome looks for new housing. A nurse was also assigned to the case because medication may be involved, said Red Cross representative Leslie Schaffer.

A Tuesday fire in Genoa that officials are blaming on a faulty water heater caused about $30,000 damage to a residence on Centennial Drive in Genoa. Eisele said the fire started when a wood base underneath the water heater ignited.


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