Fires Destroy Two Homes

Payson firefighter injured

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Two separate house fires, one in Chaparral Pines and another in Young, caused major damage early this week.

A Chaparral Pines home in the 2700 block of East Morning Glory Circle was lost to a fire Tuesday afternoon.

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Firefighters attempt to control this house fire in Chaparral Pines Tuesday afternoon. Payson fire officials said the house was destroyed and the cause of the fire is under investigation

In Young, a log home burned to the ground Monday morning. (See story on page 2A)

When fire personnel from both the Payson and Hellsgate departments arrived at the Chaparral Pines home, the multi-story log framed home was fully involved in fire.

There were initial reports from bystanders that a child was missing and could possibly be in the home. Shortly after the initial report, the child was located, unharmed at another location.

One Payson firefighter, fire engineer Rhett Connolly, was injured during the fire. The injury was to his shoulder and was due to pulling hose, said Payson Captain Jim Rasmussen, of the fire department. His injuries are still being evaluated, but are not life threatening.

Additional fire department units were needed from Houston Mesa, Whispering Pines, and Pine/Strawberry. The request for additional manpower was made due to the large size of the home, the surrounding extremely dry fire conditions of the landscape, the high ambient temperatures, and proximity of other homes and structures. Life Star ambulance also had a medical unit standing by.

Nearby homes and landscape surrounding the burning home were priorities for the fire crews. Several brush fires were quickly controlled, allowing firefighters to turn their full attention on the original structure fire.

The U.S. Forest Service responded with wildland trained firefighters along with helicopter air surveillance and support.

During the course of the fire, small brush fires were found as far as about one-half mile away from the original fire. Forest Service firefighters suppressed these.

Rim Country fire department firefighters concentrated on the structure fire.

The log home and contents are a total loss, fire officials said. Payson fire department units remained on the scene all night to watch for and extinguish any fire that began to flare back up. Wednesday morning the on scene crews had to put out several small brush fires nearby that restarted after the sun came back up.

The fire is under investigation and no cause has been determined. Fire crews are still on scene because of the unsafe structural stability of the home.

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