Las Cruces firefighters responded to and extinguished three separate and unrelated fires within a seven-hour period. One of the fires resulted in the arrest of a woman on a felony count of arson and another fire injured an 80-year-old man.
Arson Suspected in Solano Fire
Shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 24, firefighters were dispatched to a residential structure fire at 2210 S. Solano Drive. Firefighters arrived to find flames and heavy smoke emitting from the home. Firefighters entered the home and quickly extinguished the fire. No injuries were reported.
Las Cruces police and fire investigators learned, through witness statements, that 38-year-old Mariah Whigham allegedly started the fire. Whigham is charged with one felony count of arson. Whigham was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where she is initially being held without bond. Damage to the home was estimated at more than $20,000.
Ranchers Road Fire Injures Man
Shortly before midnight Tuesday, Las Cruces firefighters were dispatched to a residential structure fire on the 3800 block of Ranchers Road. The first arriving crew observed heavy smoke and fire emitting from the home.
Firefighters entered the home and quickly extinguished the fire. Firefighters also found an 80-year-old man outside the home who appeared to be suffering from smoke inhalation. The man was initially transported to a local hospital by the Las Cruces Fire Department. The man was later transported to a burn center in Lubbock, Texas. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Damage estimates have yet to be determined.
Calle Arriba Fire
Shortly before 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 25, firefighters responded to a residential structure fire on the 3800 block of Calle Arriba. Firefighters extinguished the fire within minutes after arrival.
The cause of the fire is not exactly known at this time, but investigators learned a lighted candle near the back of the two-story home might have caught the porch on fire. The fire extended into the house’s first floor but working smoke detectors allowed the homeowner and her two children to evacuate safely. Damage to the home is estimated at more than $10,000.