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Woman Loses Life in Duck Run Fire

Jul 4, 2023

Woman Loses Life in Duck Run Fire

Two fires were recorded over the weekend out west; one of which claimed the life of a mother of three. The fire broke around three a.m. on Sunday in the Duck Run One community and while the property owner’s mother was able to escape unhurt, they would later that day realise that Mendez, an employee who recently started working with the family, perished inside the blaze. Today, a News Five team headed west and Duane Moody files the following report.

Duane Moody, Reporting

In the wee small hours of Sunday, as the community of Duck Run One slept, a deadly fire broke inside a three-bedroom wooden structure located adjacent to the El Cerrito Bar in that village. Bar owner Wilmer Chavez says that he was awakened by a distress call and ran over to find that his mother had already exited the burning building.

Voice of: Wilmer Chavez, Fire Victim [Translated]

“The fire occurred in my mom’s house. I was alerted by my wife who woke me up and said that there is a fire next door, and I got up and run towards the side of the house where her room is located. When I got there, she was walking out of the house and I helped her to safety. I then went looking for a hose to spray water on the house, but it happened so quickly.”

The Spanish Lookout Fire Station responded to the fire, but the inferno ripped through the wooden structure quickly and by the time they arrived, nothing could have been saved and they extinguished the blaze. It was not until almost twelve hours later; around two p.m. that the charred remains believed to be that of an employee of Cerrito Bar was discovered in the rubble.

Voice of: Wilmer Chavez [Translated]

“Unfortunately there was another person inside the house, in another area of the house that lost her life. It is lamentable, but we didn’t know that she was inside because that night she went out around ten o’clock. And so for me, she wasn’t inside the house. But thereafter we found out that she returned home in the morning and we didn’t know that she was inside. We weren’t able to save anything. We called 911 and they never answered. So we called Spanish Lookout Fire Department and they showed up and helped us with the fire.”

Duane Moody

“It was during that that you found out that the lady was in there?”

Voice of: Wilmer Chavez

“No, we neva know that at that time during the day. Around two in the evening, probably, we noticed that there was a body in there.”

Michell Mendez, a mother of three, had only been employed less than a month ago.

Voice of: Wilmer Chavez [Translarted]

 “She was a person who came to assist us on weekends to assist with clients of the bar. Her name is Michell Mendez. That’s the name that I had, but I am understanding that that was not her real name and at this time, we don’t know what her real name is.”

Duane Moody

“So she was trapped in a particular part of the house?”

Voice of: Wilmer Chavez

“She was sleeping in her room.”

At this point in time, the cause of the fire has not been established. Chavez says that while the house and its contents were valued at approximately sixty thousand dollars, the loss of a life is priceless,.

Voice of: Wilmer Chavez [Translated]

 “It will be hard to recover from this, but we are with life and we will see how we can rebuild the house.”

Anyone wanting to assist the Chavez family can contact him at 650-5406.  Duane Moody for News Five.

This afternoon, Mendez’s oldest daughter reached out to News Five to inform that her name was actually Joba Maribel León Ramírez.