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Devastating fire guts home south of Price

Fire fighters douse the smoking remnants of the house fire on Stake Farm Road early Thursday. The blaze gutted the home and destroyed thousands of dollars worth of auto parts in a nearby garage. There were no injuries in the fire.

By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

An early morning fire on Stake Farm Road south of Price destroyed a home and a garage that contained thousands of dollars worth of stock car racing parts and tools on Thursday morning.

The home was owned by Larry and Beverly Thomas. The first call came to dispatch at about 6:15 a.m. and a Carbon County Sheriff's Deputy was the first on the scene. Based on his observations the fire was at the east end of the garage which stood next to the house separated by five or six feet. He said he cleared the house and there was only a little smoke when he went in, but before he could get out the east wall of the house was on fire.

Fire fighting units from Price, Wellington and Helper responded to the blaze. A tanker truck was also sent because at first it appeared the hydrants to fight the fire were too far away to make for quick response.

"This is the first structure fire we have had in about 8 months," said Price Fire Chief Paul Bedont on the scene. "We haven't had many in the last couple of years at all."

Reportedly fighting the fire was complicated because of a high fuel load in the garage and ammunition that was in the burning area. Some of it went off while the fire burned.

After an all-day investigation, the source of the fire remained undetermined.

"We couldn't find a specific cause," said Bedont on Thursday afternoon. "There are a number of factors that we just needed to consider, but nothing came out specifically."

Fire fighters not only had to battle the fire but also the storminess that raged across the region. While not much rain was falling in the area at the time, lightning strikes were common while the blaze was at its height. Fire fighters really did take their lives in their hands by not only having to face the hazards of a burning building with high octane fuel nearby, but with lightning bolts falling from the sky.

Bedont said that the house and the garage are a total loss. The owner participates in stock car racing and told the chief he had two engines valued at over $20,000 each in the garage, along with parts and many, many tools. At the scene a burned out ATV could also be seen sitting in front of what was the garage.

"I think with what he told us we could estimate the loss of the garage, the house and all the contents at between $200-300,000," stated Bedont.

Fire fighters from the agencies involved could be seen removing some personal items from the home and placing them on the lawn of the home to keep them from further damage as the blaze started to come under control.

Reportedly the homeowners did have insurance on the home.




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