Halogen porch light cause of Meers fire

Meers_A fire ripped through a house near Meers on Porter Hill Road on Tuesday morning with devastating results.  Several volunteer fire departments arrived at the home at about 4 a.m. to find it engulfed in flames.  The house is a total loss, and although the family made it out safely, they couldn't find their three dogs - still inside the burning home.

Paradise Valley Volunteer Firefighter Travis Wright says the cause of the fire was a porch light.  "They had a halogen light they usually turn off at night over here on this back porch," he said.  Wright says the homeowner, Carl Sixkiller, neglected to turn off the light, and early in the morning the halogen bulb got so hot that it started a fire so fierce that it caught his truck on fire.  "We put that out immediately and just started squirting water from both sides," said Wright.

The family made it out of the burning house safely.  "The smoke woke them up and they luckily got out - crawled out through the back window over here," said Wright.  But their three dogs didn't make it out.  "We called them and nothing would come," said Sixkiller.

Later in the afternoon, the hot spots from the fire reignited and area fire departments returned to extinguish it.  They say they used about 6,500 gallons of water to completely dampen the blaze.

A halogen bulb can get as hot as 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Fire officials advise homeowners to use fluorescent bulbs instead as they don't get as hot and use less energy.  Outdoor lights with a photocell unit or motion sensor also are a good idea since they only turn on at night or when someone is nearby.