No cause yet for fatal TRE fire |

No cause yet for fatal TRE fire

by Sheila Gardner

East Fork firefighters continued Tuesday to process the scene of a weekend Topaz Ranch Estates fire that claimed the life a 52-year-old woodcutter.

Capt. Terry Taylor said an autopsy Monday indicated the victim, Raymond Booth, was alive at the time of the fire.

He also said alcohol may have played a part in the event.

“We’re awaiting a toxicology screening and have submitted tissue samples for further processing,” Taylor said.

The fire broke out about 4 a.m. Sunday at the single-wide mobile home at 1520 Topaz Ranch Road.

Taylor said Booth’s body was found in a bedroom. Officials believe the fire started at the opposite end of the residence.

On Tuesday, Taylor was at the scene with AmeriGas testing the propane system.

“With their (AmeriGas) assistance and cooperation, we’re processing the scene looking for leaks and sifting debris in the area of the greatest damage,” Taylor said.

A number of causes have been eliminated including faulty electrical appliances or whether a kitchen stove had been left on.

Taylor said neighbors reported no explosion or other disturbances.

“Dogs started barking and the neighbors woke up and saw the glow from the fire,” Taylor said.

Two dogs escaped the fire and were taken in by neighbors.

When the first units arrived on scene, 75 percent of the trailer was on fire, said Battalion Chief Scott Fraser.

Crews were able to knock the fire down before it extended to any wildland brush or other homes, Fraser said.

He said Booth was alone in the trailer.

Units from Topaz Ranch Estates, Topaz Lake, Minden, Gardnerville Ranchos and Ruhenstroth responded to the fire. Fraser said 20 personnel controlled the fire in 30 minutes.