Resident burning weeds catches house on fire

Photo By Nicole Evans Lunt: This residence on Lamonica Way in Safford suffered extensive smoke and water damage after the resident accidentally caught it on fire while burning weeds too close to the structure.

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – For the second time this season, a resident burning weeds early Friday afternoon caught their home on fire. 

The Safford Fire Department was dispatched at about 1:30 p.m. to a residence on Lamonica Way, which is south of 20th Street and east of 8th Avenue. 

According to Safford Fire Chief Clark Bingham, the resident was burning weeds in the front yard of the residence when flames caught the base of the porch on fire and then spread into the porch pillar. The fire took off from there and spread into the home’s attic.

Firefighters had to pull down ceiling in the garage and elsewhere and pulled some of the roof’s cement tiles to check for burning and where the roof had burned so the tiles wouldn’t fall on the residents while they were salvaging their property.  

Photo By Nicole Evans Lunt: Firefighters work on the roof of the home to make sure there are no loose cement roof tiles after being damaged by fire.

The volunteer Safford Fire Department rolled two trucks to the scene and managed to save the residents’ possessions while keeping the fire to the sole structure and, mostly, in the attic area. Still, the residence suffered extensive smoke and water damage, but it can be rebuilt, according to Bingham. 

“The guys did a really good job at salvaging the house,” Bingham said. “We’re really efficient at fighting fires like this and they kept it from spreading by having a real aggressive attack and a quick response time.”

Aerial Video By Dave Mendoza

While burning is a popular method of clearing weeds this time of year, residents should not burn any weeds within 20 feet of a structure, especially during windy days. Bingham recommends using other methods of weed abatement for use within 20 feet of a structure, including the use of a shovel, a Weedeater, or anything else other than fire. 

“Don’t burn near the house,” Bingham said. “If there’s any question ‘should I burn today or not?’ err on the side of no.”

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