Electrical fire blamedas deputy loses home

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, October 9, 2001

Local and state fire officials say a fire that gutted a LincolnCounty sheriff’s deputy’s home Friday evening likely started in theceiling of the bathroom.

The state fire marshal inspected Deputy Sudie Palomarez’sburned-out home on Highway 583 Monday in an effort to determine thecause, said Lincoln County Civil Defense Director CliffordGaley.

“He’s going to rule it accidental, and we’re pretty sure it waselectrical,” Galey said.

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The fire was reported was Friday at 5:22 p.m. Hog Chain, EastLincoln, Bogue Chitto and Heuck’s Retreat Volunteer FireDepartments responded, with personnel from other departments alsoparticipating, Galey said.

“The first truck at the scene found the home fully involved,”Galey said.

Nobody was home when the fire began. Palomarez and familymembers were on their way to an out-of-town football game.

Galey said firefighters first concentrated their efforts on thelower interior of the home and then on the ceiling area. The firewas extinguished and some items removed from the home by around 11p.m.

“We probably got 75 percent of the contents out, but I don’tknow how much will be salvageable because of the heat and smoke,”Galey said, adding that a number of saved items were stored in shedbehind the home.

An insurance agent also visited the scene Monday. Galey expectedthe home would be declared a total loss due to heat and smokedamage.

Palomarez and her children, Lacey, Ashley, Savannah and Rico,were unable to go into the home until officials completed theirinvestigation, said Bobby Jordan, the deputy’s mother. Palomarezand her children are staying at Jordan’s home on Highway 583 whilethey look for other housing options.

Jordan said Friday’s fire was the second for her daughter. Aboutsix years ago, a fire destroyed Palomarez’s home in Washington whenshe was living there.

Both Galey and Jordan commented on the support firefighters andthe Palomarezes received following Friday’s fire.

“The community came out in full force to help out once we gotthe fire out,” Galey said.

Jordan said Palomarez is known in the county through her work asthe sheriff’s department’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE)officer. She said the family was fortunate to have so many friendswho have helped.

“There has really been a response from the people,” Jordan said.”It’s unreal how good everybody has been to them.”