Lee Avenue fire kills one; neighbors use bare hands to save woman

August 22, 2018

BULLHEAD CITY — One person died but a woman was rescued by fast-

moving neighbors during a Tuesday afternoon fire that destroyed two dwellings and damaged a third.

Sgt. Shawn Brooks, of the Bullhead City Police Department, confirmed that one person died in the blaze. He declined to release an identity or details.

Jose Robles was returning to work when he saw the fire in the Carefree Resort mobile home park and tried to alert the inhabitants, but was unable, he said.

Robles, along with Mike Atwood and brothers Jose and Manuel Gonzales, began tearing at the frame of the residence, eventually creating a breach large enough to bring the woman through.

The men were told someone else was in the residence and tried to enter again, but were beaten back by the smoke and flames, Jose Gonzales said.

Neighbor Steve Gregg said he noticed the men trying to get in without tools and grabbed a shovel, but the first woman was freed before he got there.

Officials could not immediately confirm the status of the second resident. Brooks said he was uncertain if that was the person who was killed.

“I don’t know which unit (the victim was found in),” Brooks said late Tuesday night, adding that several people were attempting to gain entry into several residences to rescue potential victims.

He said firefighters were trying to locate someone who had not been accounted for when they discovered the body.

“They were looking,” he said.

By the time firefighters arrived 4:32 p.m., at least one of the manufactured homes was fully engulfed. Battalion Chief Justin Flummer immediately called for a second alarm, bringing additional crews to the scene off Lee Avenue between Third and Fourth streets in Old Bullhead.

BHCFD personnel were assisted by firefighters from the Clark County and Fort Mojave Mesa fire departments and from Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport, for a total of 13 units on scene, Viles said.

The blaze was brought under control by 6:45 p.m. The fire investigation was completed shortly before 10:30 p.m. No cause was announced.

No firefighters were injured and one person who had been nearby when the fire started but moved to a secondary location later was taken to a hospital after complaining of difficulty breathing, Bullhead City Fire Department spokeswoman Lori Viles said.

Viles said one cat was killed in the fire. Firefighters still were determining whether any animals were in the other home that was destroyed, she said.

Members of the Bullhead City Community Emergency Response Team were on hand to assist with rehab for fire crews. The American Red Cross has been contacted regarding assistance for the affected families, Viles said.

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