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The Sedona Fire District responded to an electrical fire that destroyed a $2.5 million home in the Back o? Beyond gated community early Saturday morning.

Fire crews arrived on the scene at 1:02 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, just 12 minutes after dispatch received the report.

A neighbor called 9-1-1 after smelling smoke and looking out the window to see flames.

Another neighbor also called moments before crews arrived.

According to SFD Fire Marshal Will Loesche, the fire started when an exposed outdoor electrical outlet shorted during a rainstorm.

Nobody was home at the time.

The outlet was exposed because the home, located on Primrose Point, was in the process of being refurbished.

The outer layers of the home had previously been stripped off to deal with a mold issue caused by a leaky window.

The mold had been removed and the contractors were in the process of putting the outer layers back on.

The home was scheduled to be re-stuccoed this week.

?It takes the complete walls to give it that protection [from fire],? Senior Fire Inspector Gary Johnson said.

When crews arrived, the primary fire was in the attic.

?Those are one of the hardest types of fires to fight,? Loesche said.

With flames sandwiched in the space between the exterior roof and the interior ceiling, firefighters had to poke holes in both to get to the fire.

?It?s a very difficult maneuver to do,? Loesche said.

According to Johnson, attic fires are hard to fight and the outcome normally isn?t good.

The fire burnt the majority of the roof off the home, ruining an estimated $500,000 worth of the home?s contents, bringing the final amount of loss to $3 million.

Only approximately the top ¼ of the house was burnt, with little actual flame damage affecting the rest of the home.

Once the fire was put out, firefighters could see that the exposed ceiling rafters were burnt only on the top, with the bottoms looking brand new — which is characteristic of attic fires.

Areas that were hit by the flames were charred due to the intense heat produced by the fire.

The heat also caused the interior paint to bubble and run down the walls.

Roof and ceiling debris blanketed the floor, combining with the rainwater to create a soggy marsh for firefighters to trudge through.

The end of active fire time was determined to be 4:15 a.m., but firefighters were still dealing with hot spots as late as 8:45 a.m.

The owners, whose primary residence is in Chicago, flew in after they received the news.

A private investigator from the owners? insurance company will also conduct an investigation.


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