Two fires last week that were extinguished by fire districts within the Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Services Department have been ruled accidental, according to Fire Marshal Robert Monsivaiz.
The first was a vehicle fire reported in the 3500 block of Tile Ave. in Tortugas on March 5. New Mexico State University Fire District #3 responded to the call, and requested the assistance of the Fire and Emergency Services Department.
An investigation into that fire determined a faulty cruise-control connection on the vehicle sparked the fire.
The manufacturer of the vehicle, which had two previous owners, had issued a recall for the flaw. The current owners told investigators they were not aware the vehicle recall.
“Unfortunately, this kind of information doesn’t always reach the people who need it most,” said Monsivaiz. “If you’re buying a used car, it’s imperative to research whether that vehicle has any history of recalls by the manufacturer.”
The second fire was reported just after 12 p.m. on March 6 after a mobile home caught fire in the 3500 block of Picacho Ave. Five different Doña Ana County fire districts responded, with assistance from the Las Cruces Fire Department.
Fire investigators determined the fire was caused by an electrical space heater that was left on after the occupants of the home left that morning at 8:30.
No one was injured in the fire.
The American Red Cross was called to assist the family of five, who were temporarily displaced.
The Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Services Department urges all Doña Ana County residents to use caution with electrical space heaters. Any heat-producing appliances should always be turned off and unplugged when not in use.
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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department Public Information Communication Specialist Kelly Jameson at (575) 386-4302.