A man and his girlfriend awoke to the breedle of a smoke alarm inside their mobile home on Este Es Road in Taos early in the morning Tuesday (March 6) and would escape as a fire consumed their home and two vehicles parked nearby.
Taos Central Dispatch alerted local fire departments to the blaze just before 1 a.m., and a member of Taos Volunteer Fire Department who lived in the area would be the first on the scene.
Two fire engines from the Taos department and one from the Río Fernando Volunteer Fire Department joined the firefighter at the site of the fire, which was fully involved upon their arrival, according to Taos Fire Chief Leroy Gonzalez.
"Dispatch reports said the occupants [of the trailer] were out, but we couldn't find them," Gonzalez said in an interview later Tuesday morning.
As firefighters attempted to control the blaze, firefighters found the man and his wife at a neighbor's house, where they fled after escaping the burning trailer.
The man told Chief Gonzalez that he had heard the alarm go off and then opened his bedroom door. "He saw that the whole living room was on fire," Gonzalez said.
The home and the vehicles were all lost in the blaze, according to Gonzalez, who added that the smoke alarms proved critical in alerting the trailer's residents to the emergency. "They do save lives," Gonzalez said.
Firefighters discovered a can of hot ashes on the front porch after the flames had abated, one possible cause of the fire, though the incident remains under investigation, Gonzalez said.
For updates, check back at taosnews.com.