Doña Ana County



Investigators from multiple agencies remain on site at Thursday’s home explosion site east of Las Cruces, where they are systematically sifting through the rubble for evidence that may shed light on the cause of the blast.

An investigator from the New Mexico Fire Marshal’s Office said Friday morning that laboratory analysis could take two weeks or more to process, and the exact cause of the explosion will not be released until all the evidence is processed.

The Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Department and the Dona Ana County Fire and Emergency Services Department remain at the scene as incident commanders. The investigation is proceeding at a deliberate pace with assistance of investigators from the FBI, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the New Mexico State Fire Marshal’s Office.

No injuries were reported when the massive explosion occurred at about 2:30 a.m. Thursday in the Miner’s Ridge subdivision of the Talavera area east of Las Cruces.

Firefighters from NMSU and Las Alturas were called back to the site at 2:43 a.m. Friday to extinguish hot spots in the rubble.

The investigation into the blast is expected to continue for days. The immediate scene will remain secure with no access to the public or the media until the Doña Ana County Sheriff¹s Department and the Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Service Department concur that the area can be safely entered without compromising the integrity of the investigation process. Trespassers on the site will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Traffic has been re-opened on Motherlode Road, but Deadwood Camp Court remains closed.

Residents of at least two damaged homes nearby are working with their insurance companies to determine whether those homes can be rehabilitated and reinhabited. Access to the area remains limited.

The house was a residence that was listed for sale, but the residents were out of town at the time of the explosion. They have returned to Las Cruces and they are cooperating with the investigation. The 4,419-square-foot house was located on a 1.62-acre lot and was valued by the Doña Ana County Assessor’s Office at approximately $725,000.

Reporters and photographers are strongly encouraged to keep the area clear for traffic and not to obstruct investigators.

No further information is available for release at this time, and no further updates are planned until next week. All media contact remains coordinated through the Dona Ana County Public Information Office.

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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (575) 525-5801.