Fire destroys San Cristobal house Sunday


A home was destroyed by fire in San Cristobal Sunday afternoon (May 13).

The homeowner, who asked to remain anonymous, said that he was asleep when the fire started outside in the porch area of his home. The fire quickly spread into the house and burned the interior of all the rooms, including the basement and the garage. The structure did not collapse but everything inside was destroyed except for a few items, according to the homeowner.

He said he was alone at the time and no injuries were reported.

Firefighters from the newly opened San Cristobal fire station and other area fire stations were quick to respond, but it took over an hour to contain the blaze and prevent it from spreading into the nearby forest area. The home, located at the north edge of the valley, shares its boundary with the Carson National Forest.

Spring winds and the ongoing drought conditions have firefighters on high alert given the risks of a fire getting out of control in forests near communities and watersheds.

The initial attack crew was from the San Cristobal Fire Department in the fire engine type 6. First responders were Diego Vigil, Pedro Cruz, David Gilroy, Joseph Godfry and Eric Vom Dorp. Another San Cristobal fire truck arrived at the scene and responders from Lama brought a type 3 engine with more water.

Roy Blas from Lama came in with another truck. Other fire departments that helped contain the blaze included Questa, Cerro, Latir, Lama, Wheeler, Hondo-Seco, Red River,Taos and Carson National Forest Service.

The San Cristobal Fire Department had its grand opening ceremony on Saturday(May 12).

The area is no stranger to catastrophic fire. The Hondo fire in 1996 that started in San Cristobal destroyed 10,000 acres of forest and several homes and caused the evacuation of Lama, parts of Questa and Red River. Some residents believe the destruction caused by the Hondo Fire might have been prevented had there been a fire department in the San Cristobal Valley.

Vigil is training to be a firefighter with the San Cristobal Fire Department.