VICTIM OF FATAL FIRE IN BERINO IDENTIFIED

VICTIM OF FATAL FIRE IN BERINO IDENTIFIED

The Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Services Department has confirmed the name of the woman killed in Berino after her home caught fire on Jan. 15.

The University of New Mexico Office of the Medical Examiner confirmed that Mary Russell, 79, became trapped inside after fire engulfed her home in the 200 block of Candelaria. Firefighters from five neighboring fire districts responded to the call at 1:20 a.m. and reported seeing flames shooting from the roof when they arrived.

The severity of the fire and difficult conditions prevented a rescue. By 2:30 a.m. crews reported the fire was under control, but the home was completely destroyed.
Fire investigators determined an improperly installed chimney pipe, which allowed heat and flames to spread into the insulation of the doublewide mobile home, was the cause of the fire.