Fire fighters from Dumas and Cactus fought to save a burning house five miles south of Cactus off US 287 Monday. Despite their efforts, the building was a total loss.
Fire fighters were called between 4:30 and 4:45 pm by a relative of the house's former occupant. "When we got on scene the building was over 50 percent involved in fire. The upper and lower floors were burning at that point," said Dumas Fire Department Chief Ronald Pray. He said the fire fighters were hampered by heavy winds and a limited water supply. All the water they used had to be brought in by tanker. Because the house was west of the railroad tracks, he said normal train traffic had to be stopped for a time to allow fire fighters access to the property. "Once we realized no one was inside, we made a defensive attack on the fire to keep it from spreading," he said.
The property, listed on tax roles as belonging to Millie Ruth Caraway, had been unoccupied for some time, according to Pray. "It had been secured, but no one was living there at the time." The property still had electricity. The cause of the fire is unknown, but "it doesn't appear to be anything nefarious," said Pray.