A Belen man is in serious condition at an Albuquerque hospital, recovering from injuries he suffered when his mobile home was destroyed by a fire early Wednesday morning.
Valencia County Fire Marshal John Cherry said Michael Smith, no age available, was taken to the University of New Mexico Hospital with severe smoke inhalation. Smith escaped the flames that eventually destroyed his home at 1401 North Mesa Road by climbing out one of the windows.
Cherry said Smith also received several cuts on his hands.
Firefighters arrived on the scene around 12:30 a.m. and found Smith’s mobile home totally engulfed in flames. Cherry said between 15 and 20 firefighters from four different departments stayed on the scene until 4 a.m. extinguishing the blaze and cleaning up.
“The reason why we had a hard time with this fire was because there were a few additions built onto it. We also lost a motor home, which was parked next to the house,” Cherry said. “We were able to save a machine shop, which was on the property.”
Cherry said, although the investigation into the cause of the fire hasn’t been completed, he’s suspicious it may have been caused by a gas supply malfunction.
Clara Garcia is the editor and publisher of the Valencia County News-Bulletin.
She is a native of the city of Belen, beginning her journalism career at the News-Bulletin in 1998 as the crime and courts reporter. During her time at the paper, Clara has won numerous awards for her writing, photography and typography and design both from the National Newspaper Association and the New Mexico Press Association.