By Vernon Robison
Moapa Valley Progress
An Overton home at 420 N. Whitmore was destroyed by fire on Saturday evening. The single-wide mobile home residence and accessory structures on the property went up in flames at around 5:00 p.m. No one was home at the time of the fire, residents said.
Volunteer firefighters from Overton Station 74 were first on the scene. When they arrived the residence was fully engulfed in flames that were over 30 feet high, witnesses at the scene said.
Firefighters went to work immediately to control the fire and prevent it from spreading to another home that was located only about 10 feet away from the burning structure. They were successful in saving the second home from also catching fire.
Assisting in the firefighting efforts were volunteers from Logandale station 73, Moapa Station 72 and firefighters from the BLM Fire Station at the I-15 Logandale/Overton exit. A Las Vegas Battalion chief and firefighters from Station 23 in the northern Las Vegas valley were also called to the scene to assist.
Neighbors said that the fire had apparently started somewhere in the yard of the property and had spread to the house.
The official cause of the fire is still under investigation according to Clark County Fire Department officials.
According to witnesses at the scene, before the firefighters had arrived, a number of neighbors had taken up garden hoses and tried to put out the flames before they reached the home. But they were unable to bring the blaze under control.
Justin Oesterle of Las Vegas saw the blaze start while he was swimming in the pool at the North Shore Inn where he was staying for the weekend. Oesterle jumped the fence of the pool and ran across the highway and the vacant lot to the burning structure to see if he could help. He and a few other bystanders including Rick Houston who lived close by found a woman bent over and face down in the yard behind the burning house. They quickly pulled her away from the area to safety. The woman was sent by LifeFlight to Las Vegas to be treated for smoke inhalation.
Witnesses on the scene said that the firefighters knocked down the flames within about 25 minutes of their arrival.
But the local volunteers spent more than five hours after that extinguishing hot spots and cleaning up on the scene. The firefighters didn’t roll away from the scene until about 11:00 p.m.
“I’ve got to hand it to our guys out there,” said Clark County Fire Department Rural Coordinator Mike Johnson. “The men from Station 74 set up a good command presence and the other stations fell right into place working together. They definitely made a good property save on this and I’m very happy with their performance.”