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Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 8:01pm
SUNLAND PARK, NM — An elderly woman narrowly escaped her mobile home in Sunland Park just seconds before it went up in flames. The mobile home was destroyed and firefighters said it was caused by an overloaded circuit on the front porch where a powered wheelchair was charging.
"We were all very scared, all the neighbors were outside. We were just waiting for an actual evacuation order," said neighbor Marisela Bobadilla.
Walnut Court was filled with fire trucks Tuesday afternoon.
Neighbors tried to console the woman who was inside her mobile home when it caught fire at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Her son said she's fine but shaken up.
Bobadilla lives a few houses away and shot video seconds after it started.
"We just heard an explosion. It was a huge boom. We ran outside and the whole court was filled with black smoke," said Bobadilla.
"In the back side of the structure, we found some wielding tanks and oxygen tanks and with the fire, there were some explosions," said Sunland Park Fire Chief Andres Burciaga.
The fire started at the mobile home and because of the winds, it spread to two cars, a shed and a tree. Firefighters evacuated several homes. Other neighbors packed up and left on their own.
"That was something that really hindered our operations, the wind was about 30 to 40 miles an hour and it took us a good while to get the fire under control," said Burciaga.
Bobadilla and her neighbors were worried the fire was going to take over the neighborhood.
"It was surreal especially with the winds like this. It actually caught a couple of trees on fire so all the neighbors had to take their water hoses outside to try and water them down," said Bobadilla.
Also not helping the situation? There wasn't even a hydrant on the street. Neighbors said it's too far.
"That's obviously a concern that obviously we'll have to discuss with the city," said Bobadilla.
Firefighters from Sunland Park, Santa Teresa, West Valley and El Paso helped put out the fire.
The American Red Cross made sure the woman had a place to stay for the night.