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Woman burning weeds caused massive fire; damage estimated around $37,000


The Doa Ana County Sheriff’s Office says the total damage is around $37,000 after the mobile home fire on Thursday, which was caused by a woman burning weeds.

DASO adds the woman was burning too much at one time, and the fire grew out of control.

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Original: A woman who was burning weeds near her home off Shalem Colony Trail Thursday afternoon caused a fire that completely destroyed her mobile home, according to the Doa Ana County Sheriff’s Office.

This happened just before 1 p.m. on the 3100 block of Old Picacho Road just west of Las Cruces.

DASO said the fire spread to a nearby tree after winds shifted, before eventually destroying her home. Thick black smoke could be seen from miles away. Neighbors in the area called 911 after seeing the fire.

Crews with Doa Ana County Fire and Emergency Services responded the fire.

Doa Ana County Sheriff’s deputies assisted with traffic control and scene security. A man who refused to stay outside the perimeter where fire crews were working was arrested by sheriff’s deputies. Noah Angel Contreras, 20, was transported to the Doa Ana County Sheriff’s Department on charges of resisting and obstructing.

The 65-year-old homeowner – who had lived in the home for 30 years – tried putting the fire out with a garden hose. A neighbor convinced her to leave the property for fear of her own safety.

Firefighters rescued the woman’s cat, which had reportedly suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation. Crews gave the cat oxygen and reunited the cat with its owner.

According to Doa Ana County Fire Capt. Arturo Herrera, 22 firefighters were on the scene, including crews from the Las Cruces and Mesilla fire departments.

Herrera determined the home and nearby shed were a total loss. The homeowner was reportedly going to stay with neighbors and will seek assistance from the American Red Cross.

No one was injured in the fire.

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