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Long time paramedic and EMT has home destroyed by fire

The medic said he woke to a loud boom from the garage and found the area on fire

By Danny Udero
The Silver City Sun-News

SILVER CITY, N.M. — A fire took the home of Gila Regional Medical Center paramedic Jeff Hobbs over the weekend. Silver City Fire Chief Tim Heidrick said the fire started in the garage. The incident was turned over to the state fire marshal for further investigation.

“I was very happy with the way our department responded to the scene,” Heidrick said. “Both stations did a great job of extinguishing the fire. I can’t say the home is a total loss, that’s up to the insurance adjuster, but there was extensive damage.”

Hobbs said he had been working on a car in the garage for his daughter, who was headed off to college. He replaced a fuel pump. Half the family was not in the home because of renovations. He said his son told him the garage still smelled of gas fumes that night.

“My wife (Yvette) had surgery and because of the renovation in the house, she was having a hard time getting around so she went to stay with our daughter in Tyrone,” Hobbs said. “My other daughter also came home to find her bed out of place and decided to go stay with her sister.”

Hobbs said they were remodeling the garage and putting linoleum in there. After he went to bed, he said he heard a loud boom and woke up to investigate. He encountered a large plume of black smoke. He woke up his son and together they got the dogs out of the house.

“When I got outside, I looked at the garage and it looked like a torch,” Hobbs said. “My son and I were able to back out a Chevy and a Ford that were parked in front of the garage but the heat melted the headlights and the plastic in the front of the vehicles.”

Hobbs didn’t have his radio or his cell phone on him, so neighbors called 911. The fire departments showed up and extinguished the flames.

Heidrick said his initial investigation showed the fire started in the garage, then made its way to the attic.

“It could have been a lot worse,” Hobbs said. “I know they started a Go Fund Me page, but I’m not the kind of guy that likes to take money from people, especially when there are some that are worse off than us. I just as well tell everyone to send some business my way and I’d rather work for the money.”

In addition to his work as a medic, Hobbs also runs a repair shop called The Engine Medic, 575-519-2384.

Hobbs has been a paramedic for 16 years at GRMC and was an emergency medical technician for 24 years.

“We are very fortunate the way everything worked out,” Hobbs said. “All of us would have normally been in the house and I hate to think what would have happened if anyone of us would have suffered smoke inhalation. That would have taken any one of us down.”

Copyright 2016 the Silver City Sun-News

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