May 20, 2005
A grass fire sparked by cigarette ashes destroyed a Mesa house Thursday afternoon. No one was injured.
Diana Carlson, 20 — one of four people living in the leased house in the 1000 block of East Broadway Road — said she went to the back yard to talk on the phone and smoke a cigarette shortly before the fire.
"That’s probably what started it," she said. "That’s the only thing I can think of."
She was inside the house with a friend when the fire broke out about 2 p.m.
"I was in my room, and he started yelling, ‘Get out, call 911, it’s on fire,’ " Carlson said.
Cigarette ashes sparked dry grass in the back yard, said Mesa deputy fire chief Mary Cameli.
Thirty to 40 firefighters worked to put out the blaze. Damage was estimated at $250,000. Cameli called it a total loss.
Police and fire officials closed Broadway from Stapley Drive to Solomon while the house was burning.