Conte house fire being investigated |

Conte house fire being investigated

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer
photos by BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Carson City firefighters and inspectors survey the home on Conte Drive that was destroyed by a fire early Friday morning. The home was under construction at the time of the fire.

A team of investigators is trying to determine why a home being built with fireproofing in mind burned to the ground early Friday morning in southeast Carson City.

According to Carson City Fire Battalion Chief Richard Chzranowski, fire crews were called to 4868 Conte Drive at 12:20 a.m. By the time the first firefighters arrived, the 6,000-square-foot, three-story frame, constructed of Styrofoam blocks filled with concrete, was “fully involved.”

“This homeowner/builder was very interested in a construction that might be a little more protective of fire. The only wood components were the roof structure and the floors. Everything else was either concrete covered in Styrofoam or heavy steel,” Chzranowski said.

Embers from the inferno ignited brush on Edmonds Drive and grass surrounding the home.

“Upon our arrival there was nothing we could do to save the structure so we had to protect the houses on the north and south. The firebrands were going very high into the air and started a grassfire simultaneously,” he said.

Though the frame of the home was up and the roof on, Chzranowski said, the windows and doors were not yet installed and there was no electricity to the home.

He said there was nothing at the scene that immediately indicated the cause. Investigators waited until daylight to enter the scene and by 4 p.m. hadn’t passed along to Chzranowski any conclusions.

According to the Carson City Assessor’s Web site, the 1.15-acre property is owned by a Richard M. Gunkel and S. Bongers.

A message for Gunkel was not immediately returned Friday.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.