Fire takes family’s new home
June 21, 2002
A stray nail is to blame for the Thursday morning fire that took the Williams family’s new home.
Capt. Terry Taylor, fire investigator with the East Fork Fire and Paramedic District, said nails had been driven through the electrical wire years ago in the 1714 Hoid Road home purchased Tuesday by Shawn and Amy Williams.
Taylor said Shawn Williams had just bought the home and was refinishing rooms. They hadn’t moved in yet.
“It’s a total loss as far as we’re concerned,” he said. “We valued it at $225,000 because there were no contents.”
Taylor said the family has homeowners insurance.
“He just bought that house; he worked so hard to get it,” said Williams’ stepfather, Ron Lamb. “He just closed escrow on it Monday or Tuesday. He was getting it ready and this happened, so he was kind of bummed.
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“He was complaining about the cost of insurance. I told him ‘Insurance is the most expensive thing in the world ’til you need it . Then it’s the cheapest thing you ever bought.
“He loved the older house. He was elated that he bought that property.”
The two-alarm fire began about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday and was thought to be extinguished by about 2 a.m., when firefighters left the scene.
About 3:15 a.m., the home was reported to be on fire again.
“I know approximately where it started again,” Taylor said. “I believe some of the roofing material melted down into the walls. At that point it’s a lot like kerosene. There was a little fire left and when the wind came up early in the morning it got some flame going, which in and of itself wasn’t a problem, but with the inside of walls coated with the equivalent of kerosene it took off.”
No injuries were reported in the fire. No pets were lost and there was no infringement on the wildland, Taylor said.
“We left the scene about 1 p.m. after soaking it again,” he said.
Taylor said the electrical problem was on the second floor of the 3,720-square-foot home.
“It was nothing he (Williams) could have known about,” Taylor said. “It had been there for years. It was just sitting there as a latent defect and decided that tonight’s the night.”
The Williamses have a daughter, Naomi, who had her first birthday Tuesday.
Shawn is an electrical engineer for Bently Nevada Corp.
“He was just over there scraping walls getting ready to paint and pulling out the old carpet,” Lamb said. “He had Home Depot scheduled Monday to come in to lay new carpeting. It’s too bad. But they’ll come out fine.”
Crews from the East Fork Fire and Paramedic Districts, Douglas County Engine Company and the Genoa, Johnson Lane, Sheridan, Ranchos, Gardnerville and Fish Springs volunteer fire departments responded to the pair of blazes.
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