Photo by Beau Bearden.
KINGMAN – A fire north of Interstate 40 near Kingman Regional Medical Center damaged a fiber optics line that affected cell phone service for Verizon and Sprint customers as well as Suddenlink internet customers Wednesday night.
According to Assistant Kingman Fire Chief Keith, droves of cell phone customers responded to area fire stations and the Kingman Police Department inquiring about the outages. Deputy Police Chief Rusty Cooper reported an increased call volume for welfare check calls during the outage since customers could not contact loved ones.
AT&T and Frontier lines were not affected.
Eaton said KFD responded to a residential structure fire in the 3200 block of North Fairfax Street at about 6 p.m.
Fire arrived and found heavy smoke and fire outside of the home. Fire crews made their way to the fire with hoses, but attempts to fight it were hampered by overhead powerlines.
Crews fell back and fought the fire from an extended distance until the powerlines were secured by Unisource power. Once the powerline hazard was mitigated, crews quickly brought the fire under control.
Investigators talked to the homes’ occupant and confirmed he was the only person there at the time of the fire. The man said he was sleeping when neighbors woke him up, and he got out of the home.
Firefighters were able to save numerous pets from the fire, which was quickly brought under control, but overhaul and salvage operations continued for some time due to the heavy load of contents.
The fire remains under investigation, but initial reports indicate it most likely started outside the home, possibly by a discarded cigarette.
Two occupants of the home were displaced by the fire. Fire loss figures are inconclusive at this time.
One Kingman firefighter was transported to KRMC with heat exhaustion during the blaze. He was treated and released and is recuperating at home as of Thursday morning.
Additional crews prevented another home threatened by the fire from burning. Crews stayed on scene of the original home due to the potential of roof collapse.
Engines and personnel from Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District #1, Golden Valley Fire District, Pinion Pines Fire District and KPD assisted KFD in the incident. American Medical Response provided personnel and ambulances for the rehabilitation area monitoring the firefighters’ medical conditions.