A family is staying with friends after a fire Saturday night badly damaged their manufactured home.
It was the second tragic event to take place Saturday. That morning, a man reportedly shot and killed his neighbor just down the street off Rancho Road.
Many of the Payson Fire Department personnel who responded to that call also worked the fire hours later.
PFD reports the fire call came in about 7:20 p.m. Firefighters, whose station sits kitty-corner to the home, found heavy smoke pouring out of the residence’s master bedroom and called in a second alarm, getting additional help from Hellsgate and Houston Mesa fire departments.
Firefighters believe the fire had burned for some time with the residents leaving earlier for a church event.
They believe the fire started sometime in roughly a two-hour window, likely in the master bedroom.
They said the fire was “deeply seeded” in the walls and ceiling when they went inside.
While working in another part of the home, firefighters felt the heat suddenly rise when everything in the master bedroom simultaneously ignited — a fire event known as a flashover.
Firefighters cut two holes in the roof to diffuse hot gases and by 9:50 p.m. had the blaze under control. Dark smoke from the fire wafted through town, reaching the Dimi Espresso coffee shop off the Beeline Highway where owner Tom Plets and customers wondered what was going on.
Some firefighters stayed on scene until 2 a.m. mopping up and checking for hot spots.
Firefighters said while there is heavy damage to the home, it is likely not a total loss.
They suspect an electrical appliance is likely the cause, either a lamp or space heater in the master bedroom. No one was injured.