Fire destroys four homes

Photo courtesy of Shelley Johnstone

PAGE – Mikah Aguero, a single mom, was working the night shift at Helping Hands Agency when she got the call.

Her home was burning. Aguero’s mother was babysitting her four children ages 3, 11, 14, and 15. Her mother woke up to the sound of crackling. She checked the stove first. It wasn’t the source. She went to the door, opened it, and flames rushed in from the porch. Immediately, she gathered the children. Their only exit was through the kitchen window of the trailer.

Due to reduced hours because of COVID-19, Aguero said she couldn’t afford home insurance. They lost everything. The Page community was quick to help. One of her co-workers paid hotel expenses for a week. Aguero said people donated clothes and even replaced a toy unicorn her daughter was upset about losing. She said, “I’m really grateful for the community.”

Aguero’s brother set up a GoFundMe page to help the family raise rent and deposit money for a new place to live. She says she gets paid Friday, so that will help a little. She doesn’t know what her total expenses will be yet or where the rest of the money will come from.

As of 5:30 p.m. Sunday, the GoFundMe page at https://gf.me/u/y7t6wd has raised $230.

A few homes away from Aguero, at about 3:20 a.m., Glen Ensfelder was fast asleep. He was woken by a knock on his door, then his window. He said it was an officer from the fire department. He was told he had to get out of the house. Ensfelder, still half-asleep, went outside and helped where he could. He helped a neighbor get cats out of harm’s way. He said he saw an older woman getting assistance, perhaps for smoke inhalation.

The fire affected Cypris and Juniper streets. Ensfelder was on the Juniper street side. He noted the wind was blowing hard and northwest, and if the wind had shifted only 15 degrees, he and his neighbor’s homes would have been destroyed too. Glen estimated the flames shot 40-50 feet high, partially attributing the height to the trees burning along with the four destroyed trailers.

According to the Page Fire Department, “On Saturday, November 07, 2020 at 03:24 hours Page Fire Units Engine 10 (E10), Ladder 1 (L1), Medic 10 (M10), Medic 11 (M11), and Fire Chief (F1) as well as National Park Service Engine 1 (NPS1) responded to the area of Cypress Avenue for a house fire. Six full-time and two off duty personnel responded to the fire along with three reserve personnel from Page Fire as well as three National Park Service Personnel.”

Four structures burned in the Cypress Avenue area. When fire crews arrived, two homes were completely engulfed in flames and spread quickly to two other homes. High winds accelerated the rapid spread, destroying four homes.

Fire crews were able to limit the spread to the four homes. All residents were out of their homes and no rescue operations were needed, though they reported, “One patient was treated and transported to Page Hospital with minor injuries.”

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