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

Afternoon fire displaces residents

 

Tony Bullocks

A Clovis firefighter applies water to Monday's fire at the Clovis Apartments.

CLOVIS - A fire Monday afternoon at Clovis Apartments displaced the residents of 12 units in the affected building, but responders made short work of the blaze and there were no serious injuries, except for the presumed feline perpetrator.

"It appears it probably involved a cat knocking over a candle in the bedroom," Clovis Fire Chief Mike Nolen said of the fire reported just before 4 p.m. at building number six at the north end of the complex on the 1000 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

The cat did not survive the incident, he told The News.

"We did check out one person for smoke inhalation, but my understanding was it was minor," Nolen said.

In addition to the ground floor unit where the fire originated, which Nolen declared a "total loss," the 11 other units in the building sustained varying degrees of smoke damage. Local representatives of the American Red Cross will assist with temporary housing and other needs for the residents of the units, who were displaced for at least the night while utility companies test the safety of the electric and gas lines.

Flames burst the window of the bottom floor unit before first responders knocked down the fire within 10 minutes of the initial report, Nolen said. A total of three engines, two ladder trucks, an ambulance and staff officers responded, with officials monitoring the building through the evening.

Nolen recalled a fire at a different building there three or four years ago that flared up after first response, and said he didn't want to see that happen again.

"That one had rekindled about seven hours after the fire was knocked down, and we're going to make sure that doesn't happen on this one," he said Monday evening.

Jojo Glosson said he was alerted by a loud pounding at his door by a neighbor, and left immediately with his family. He saw columns of black and white smoke streaming out the windows.

"It happened so fast," said Sherri Andrews, who lives in a unit at the opposite end of the affected building.

"I was getting ready to put a peach cobbler in the oven ... then a little kid came up and said to evacuate."

 

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