The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Volunteer firefighter dies after injuries from blaze

 

John Cammack

NARA VISA — A Nara Visa volunteer firefighter died on Thursday after suffering burns trying to extinguish a fire that was more than seven miles long and three miles wide.

John Cammack, 74, of Nara Visa, was severely burned after falling from a fire engine during a "burn over" Wednesday night, said Nara Visa Fire Chief Gary Girard.

Girard said a second firefighter, Kyle Perez, was also injured during the incident.

He said the firefighters were attempting to refill a fire engine with a water tanker when the winds shifted abruptly.

"We were no longer fighting the fire, we were running from the fire," Girard said.

Girard said the flames were as high as the fire engine as they fled the area. He said Cammack was transported to Lubbock for treatment and Perez was admitted to a hospital in Amarillo.

Perez' condition was not released, but a family member posted on social media that he'd been released from the hospital.

Girard said Nara Visa, Rosebud and Logan fire departments were fighting five fires fueled by dry grass and spread quickly with wind gusts of 40 mph.

The fires were west of Nara Visa, about 50 miles northeast of Tucumcari in Quay County.

Girard said at one point, three of the fires combined into one large fire. He said one unit reported the fire spread across the Texas border.

Girard said the amount of acreage burned in the fire is not known, but it took the three departments more than 10 hours to contain and extinguish.

 

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