by Roundup Staff
Two large houses in Chaparral Pines were destroyed by fire Saturday afternoon, while a third home less than 10 feet away was saved from serious damage by Payson firefighters.
Payson Fire Chief Marty deMasi said nearly every firefighting resource in Northern Gila County was on the scene to battle the blaze on East Snapdragon Road in the exclusive Chaparral Pines subdivision. The fire apparently started in the middle of a three-house block and spread quickly from the house in the center at 1702 E. Snapdragon to the house on the left, 1700 E. Snapdragon.
No serious injuries were reported, deMasi said, but several firefighters suffered from heat exhaustion as they battled the hot flames in 100-degree-plus heat.
The fire was reported at 4:22 Saturday afternoon. First responders on the scene quickly called in a second alarm and then asked surrounding fire departments for help fighting the fire and to cover other parts of Payson.
Two other calls for the Payson Fire Department came in as they were battling the major fires.
“Everything we own is on the scene,” de Masi said from the command post Saturday, about 50 yards from the burning homes. He said firefighters were expected to be at the house fires all night Saturday and into Sunday morning at least.
Both homes were engulfed in flames when the first firefighters arrived, deMasi said.
“We went into a defensive mode to keep the fire from spreading to the third house,” he said.
The homes on East Snapdragon are close together. deMasi said they look to be less than 10 feet from each other.
More information about the fire will be in Tuesday’s Payson Roundup.