Electrical Short Sparked Barn Blaze

The aftermath of the barn that burned down Tuesday night at the North Mesa Stables. Photo by Leland Lehman/ladailypost.com

 
By CAROL A. CLARK
 
An electrical short inside Lisa and Garth Reader’s barn at the North Mesa Stables is blamed for a massive fire that destroyed the entire structure late Tuesday night. The fire also killed one of the Reader’s beloved horses, which they had owned for nearly 20 years.
 
“Our investigation concludes that the fire started in the barn from an electrical short,” Deputy Fire Chief Justin Grider said. “It occurred somewhere between a small refrigerator and a nearby outlet.”
 
Grider said the electricity in the Reader’s barn just happened to short but it gave him an opportunity to offer safety tips to the community.
 
“This is a good time to encourage other barn owners as well as homeowners to inspect their properties, especially after storms to make sure nothing has been damaged,” Grider said. “Out at the stables there are mice that like to get into barns and other structures and gnaw through insullation on wiring so it’s very important to reinspect all wiring on a continual basis.”
 
He added that it’s also very important to use licensed electricians when installing wiring.
 
“There is nothing more important than our children, our homes and our animals so we’ve got to be vigilent in the safety of our structures,” he said.
 
Grider commended the Los Alamos firefighters who arrived at the scene of Tuesday’s blaze for jumping on it full force and stopping it from spreading to other stables or harming other animals.

The Reader’s insurance covers the content of their barn but not the structure. An account has been set up at Los Alamos National Bank for donations to help the Readers rebuild their barn.

“This community has always been amazing … I’m sorry I had to be the recipient this time but I’m so glad I live here,” Reader said. “My goal is to rebuild by Thanksgiving.”

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