Report sheds light on fatal fire

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By Martin Salazar

The first officers who responded to the early morning mobile home blaze last Wednesday saw flames leaping more than 20 feet in the air and heard a woman inside screaming for help.

Two people had already escaped the blaze and were outside the structure when the officers arrived at the Enchanted Hills Mobile Home Park on Seventh Street.

The trapped woman’s son told officers that his mother was still inside.

Las Vegas police officer Jacob Martinez and trainee officer Conrad Mares tried to get in through the front door of the home to rescue her, but the the fire was too hot. At that point, Martinez heard the trapped woman screaming for help.

The officers ran to the front of the home and broke out windows so she could jump out.

But their harrowing efforts to rescue her were unsuccessful as the woman’s voice fell silent.

Those are among the details contained in a Las Vegas police report on the fire released to the Optic late Thursday afternoon.

The officers were dispatched to the Enchanted Hills Mobile Home Park at 12:59 a.m. Wednesday, with dispatchers informing them that there might be a woman still inside the burning structure. When they arrived, they saw that the mobile home appeared to be fully engulfed in flames.

Martinez noted that there was nowhere else to enter the residence, and he states that the heat was so intense that homes around the burning structure were starting to melt.

When firefighters arrived, the officers switched their efforts to securing the scene and keeping bystanders a safe distance away from the blaze.

The two people who escaped the blaze were transported to Alta Vista Regional Hospital and were treated for smoke inhalation.

Las Vegas Police have said there is no indication of foul play. The police report indicates that it may have been an electrical fire.

The two people who escaped the fire told police that there was a faulty electrical outlet in the kitchen, and they would use an extension cord for power.

The police report identifies the woman who died in the fire as 46-year-old Bernadette Baca, but friends and family of the deceased woman call her Sonia Baca. The people who escaped from the blaze were her 19-year old son and 14-year-old daughter.

Baca’s oldest son, Adrian, who wasn’t there at the time of the fire, says his mother managed to get his sister out of the burning home.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal confirmed that it is investigating the blaze, but said it couldn’t release any more details at this time.

An account to help Baca’s family has been set up at State Employees Credit Union under: Memorial Fund for Sonia Baca and Kids.