Woman, Dog Die In Collins Ranch House Fire

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Carol Jean Ball, 63, died in a weekend fire that destroyed the Collins Ranch home of her sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and Sam Warren.

"With a house fully engulfed, all you can do is surround and drown, put wet stuff on the hot stuff," Chief J.R. Alliger of the Tonto Village Fire District said.

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The Collins Ranch home of Barbara and Sam Warren was a total loss in a May 3 fire, which claimed the life of Barbara's sister, Carol Jean Ball, and Ball's dog, Sophie. The 911 call came in about 11:40 a.m., Saturday, May 3.

Alliger added the cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Christopher/Kohl's Fire Department.

Ball's body, and that of a small dog, were discovered in the ashes, according to the Gila County Sheriff's Office.

Alliger said the dog was named Sophie and was a poodle mix his wife used to groom for Ball.

The owners of the property were not at home at the time of the fire, according to the sheriff's report.

The Warrens told Gila County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Robert Wade that Ball had been sleeping when they left the home.

The fire was reported to the 911 operator at about 11:40 a.m., Saturday, May 3.

Personnel from both Tonto Village and Christopher-Kohl's were dispatched.

Assistant Chief Wally Onizchak and firefighter Robert Winchester, from Tonto Village, were first on the scene, Winchester said.

"The fire was coming straight out of the house toward the road ... The fire was searing, I don't know what else I've felt that was that hot. The roar was like standing next to a waterfall. There was no way anyone could get near the house," Onizchak said.

"The house was completely enveloped, so we hosed down the neighboring house. As more volunteers and help arrived, we put water on the trees and propane tank. There was a lot of help," Winchester said.

Alliger said 10 firefighters from Tonto Village and 15, including emergency medical technicians, from Christopher-Kohl's worked the fire.

"Everybody did a good job. We saved the structure next door," Alliger said.

The structure was totally destroyed by the flames and collapsed before the fire was put out around 2 p.m., Saturday, May 3.

A memorial service for Ball will be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday, May 6, at Tonto Village Chapel in Tonto Village.

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