Bold neighbor fights fire until rescue arrives

Firefighters after extinguishing a home fire early Sunday morning, Mesquite, Nev., May 11, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Mesquite Fire and Rescue, St. George News

MESQUITE, Nev. — Firefighters responded to a home fire early Sunday morning in Mesquite to find a neighbor already attempting to extinguish it. The fire was quickly put out but caused burn damage to the living room and smoke damage throughout the house. A cat that was inside did not survive the fire but no one else was in the home at the time.

At 1:26 a.m., Mesquite Fire and Rescue responded to the fire on the 200 block of Cottonwood Drive, according to a statement issued by Mesquite Fire and Rescue Sunday. A neighbor had seen heavy smoke coming from the rear of the nearby home and immediately notified the Mesquite Police Communication Center.

Firefighters a home fire early Sunday morning, Mesquite, Nev., May 11, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Mesquite Fire and Rescue, St. George News
Firefighters at a home fire early Sunday morning, Mesquite, Nev., May 11, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Mesquite Fire and Rescue, St. George News

The neighbor then went over and made sure there was no one inside but he was unable to get in because of high heat inside the home. He grabbed a nearby garden hose and began spraying water on the fire until Mesquite Fire and Rescue arrived.

Quick action of the neighbor likely kept the home from being destroyed, Capt. John Gately said.

The first firefighters on scene found visible fire burning the rear of the home as well as heavy smoke emanating from the front. Firefighters put out the visible fire within four minutes of arrival, Gately said.  Crews were then able to enter the front of the structure and ensured that the fire was completely out and had not extended to the attic and other parts of the home.

Firefighters at a home fire early Sunday morning, Mesquite, Nev., May 11, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Mesquite Fire and Rescue, St. George News
Firefighters at a home fire early Sunday morning, Mesquite, Nev., May 11, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Mesquite Fire and Rescue, St. George News

The homeowner was not at home at the time. Throughout the incident, firefighters completed several searches of the home and reported no human victims inside. Unfortunately, a cat that was in the residence was overcome by smoke and did not survive.

The home is not considered a total loss, although it will require considerable repairs to make it habitable again.  The initial fire department estimate of damages was $40,000 but is subject to change pending appraisal by the homeowners insurance company.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Agencies involved in this incident included the Mesquite Fire and Rescue department, the Beaver Dam Fire department and the Bunkerville fire department.

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