Yuma, Arizona - Today,just after 12:00 noon a fire was reported in the area of 4th Avenue and 26th Street. This information was then updated to a garage on fire in the 2500 block of 8th Drive. First arriving Yuma Fire Department personnel found heavy smoke and fire coming from a two story building at 2539 South 8th Drive (at the corner of 8th Drive and 26th Street).
The lot where the fire was occurring contained two residential structures, and several additional storage sheds in close proximity to each other. The fire spread between these structures, with an additional neighboring house also being damaged. Although there was at least one elderly occupant in one of the structures at the time of the fire, they were able to evacuate safely with the help of a family member. It took at least two hours to bring the fire under control, with fire fighters remaining on the scene for several additional hours working to completely extinguish the fire and resulting hot spots.
Temperatures at the time of the fire were in the 100s, with fire personnel needing to be rotated frequently on the fire line due to the intense heat. Personnel and apparatus from the Marine Corps Air Station Structural Fire Department, Somerton Fire Department, and San Luis Fire Department were utilized in various capacities (firefighting, rehabilitation of personnel, logistics and coordination). The Yuma Police Department also provided necessary traffic and crowd control. The origin and cause of this fire is under investigation.
Due to the weather, a particularly important piece of equipment was the YFD Rehabilitation vehicle. It was used to cool down, monitor, and rehydrate personnel to allow them return to fighting the fire. Although not its first use, this was the most significant use of this vehicle to date. It was recently placed in service and had been constructed by YFD personnel who repurposed an older delivery vehicle that had belonged to the department for many years.