A Hawthorne fire destroyed much of an unoccupied house on Aug. 3.

A firefighter uses the hose on top of a ladder truck to fight a fire at 296 L Street on Aug. 3. The ladder truck is part of a fleet owned by SOC Nevada, LLC (Jamie Cardenas photo).

A fire destroyed much of an unoccupied Hawthorne house on Aug. 3.

The fire broke out at about 2:30 p.m. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation. The damaged house was 296 L Street.

Fire crews Hawthorne, Walker Lake, and SOC Nevada, LLC at the Hawthorne Army Depot responded.

“Once I got here there were already several engines here, they were hooked up to the hydrants and were pumping water,” said B.J. Foster, Walker Lake fire chief.

Much of the front side of the structure appeared to be in good condition after firefighters extinguished the blaze. A few windows were broken and part of the metallic roof appeared to sag, but the structure seemed otherwise undamaged from the street.

The back side, however, was more badly burned. The entire side of the house that faces the ally was badly blackened, and much of the side paneling seems to have burned away, revealing the houses studs.

White Venetian blinds hung in the back window, which didn’t appear to have broken in the fire.

The heat blackened the trees that stood over the house and melted a blue trashcan across the alley.

Foster, who arrived at the fire in his fireproof coat (called turnouts) and blue jeans, said he couldn’t help physically fight the fire, so he took over incident command while T.C. Knight, Mineral County Fire Chief, took over operational control of the incident.

“It took us right at about 35- or 40-minutes to get it contained, and about an hour to get it out,” Foster said.

Foster said an officer from the State Fire Marshal’s office was sent to investigate the cause of the blaze.

The house was unoccupied, and there were no fatalities or serious injuries.

“We did have one firefighter that got overheated,” Foster said. “We took him to the hospital, just as a precaution, but he’ll be fine.”

An employee of Mt. Grant General Hospital was unable to release any information on the firefighter’s status, or confirm of the firefighter had been brought to the hospital.

Safety is always a concern during a fire, but during the summer heat there are additional concerns, Foster said.

“On a fire that is going to last any length of time at all in hot conditions, we try to rotate the firefighters so that they’re not in the intense firefighting for long periods of time,” Foster said.

Foster also said that wind was not a factor in fighting the fire.

Foster said that fire safety is especially important during the summer months when the heat of the sun dries out vegetation.

“I just want to remind the public that fire safety is important,” he said. “To keep shrubs as far away from your house as you can, keep them trimmed back so the limbs aren’t over the house, have a working fire extinguisher in your house, [and] practice exit drills. […]

“This is an example of why fire department and EMS is so important.”