Richard West's Home Severely Damaged in Fire

By  | 

RENO, NV -- Flames engulfed an east Reno home Saturday night, burning so intensely it took fire crews hours to get it under control, leaving the structure a total loss. The fire caught the attention of residents around east Reno, destroying a well-known Reno family's home.

"They have so much stuff inside that's really a bunch of pictures and stuff so it's really sad to see it all go away,'" Pam Munoz, 13, family friend of the homeowners, said.

Crews from Truckee Meadows Fire Department first arrived on scene around 5 p.m, trying to salvage what's left of a once modest home.

"There's such a fire load inside of this residence and there's a big void space in the attic so we've had a difficult time accessing where the main fire is in the house," Truckee Meadows Fire Division Chief Tim Leighton said.

Fire officials suspect it started in the garage, established in the attic and ran through the first and second floors. Extra help was needed from both Reno and Sparks fire departments.

"Mutual aid is extremely important; that's something when we have a fire at this magnitude that we do call in mutual aid. We'll call in all the resources that we need," he added.

"We live behind their house like across from the golf course and we saw flames going up. So, out of curiosity we came and I was like, 'oh I'm scared maybe it's Debbie's house and we didn't think that it would actually be their house," Munoz said.

It was a home that was built from scratch 19 years ago by Richard and Debbie West of Jones West Ford. They, along with their five dogs, were home during the start of the fire.

"I was really scared that there were still people or dogs in there like their dogs are their life, they've had them forever," Munoz added.

They escaped with no injuries, but because it took more than three hours to put out the fire, officials say the house is a total loss.

"We're going to be here throughout the night. With as much fire that we had in this house, we'll probably bring in an estimator," Leighton said. "It's going to be extensive overhaul and it's going to take a lot of manpower to do it."

The cause hasn't been determined.