Rio Rancho Fire and Rescue and Police departments responded to a two-alarm house fire around 2:10 p.m. Friday on Rio Ruidoso Road near Rio Vista Drive in Rio Rancho.
Two residents of the home that caught fire were treated for smoke inhalation and minor burns on scene, said Fire Battalion Chief Ryan Floersheim. Everyone else was safe and accounted for, he said.
Some neighbors were evacuated, while others sheltered in place. Police helped with evacuations and blocking roads.
“We have relatively secure containment at this time, but the fire’s definitely not out,” Floersheim said about 4:50 p.m.
Once the fire was out, he said, the investigation into the cause would start.
Floersheim said crews arrived to find the home at 716 Rio Ruidoso engulfed in flames, with high winds threatening to spread the fire to the house just south of it. Contrary to initial reports from the very busy scene, firefighters were able to keep the blaze from moving to the second home, he said.
The wind was clocked at 45 mph during the peak of the fire.
“With these wind conditions, our fear is that fires spread,” Fire Chief James DeFillippo said.
The neighborhood, east of NM 528 and just north of Northern Boulevard, doesn’t have fire hydrants. DeFillippo said RRFR asked Corrales and Sandoval County fire departments to send water trucks, called tenders, to help.
Floersheim said firefighters were relying on a “water tender shuttle operation” among the three departments to get the water they needed.
Albuquerque Fire and Rescue Department and Albuquerque Ambulance crews responded to 911 calls in Rio Rancho as needed during the fire because the blaze took the attention of twice as many firefighters as most structure fires, a significant number of on-duty RRFR employee, Florsheim said.
“This will definitely be an ongoing incident, and our crews will be there for the remainder of the day,” he said.
Video by Matt Hollinshead; writing by Argen Marie Duncan.