Fire in west Las Cruces destroys 3 homes

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Residents of a mobile home park in west Las Cruces watched as flames burned down three houses.

Families lost everything, including some of their pets.

"There's nothing left of the trailers, nothing left of the people's lives. They lost everything they had," said Larry Merritt, one of the residents who witnessed the fire.

The people who were sleeping inside had no choice but to watch as flames devoured their homes.

"We looked toward the north and saw an orange glow in the sky, walked a little further into the street and saw the big flames over the top of the trees. I knew there was something bad going on," Merritt said.

Richard Elmore said his friends woke him up and told him to get out.

"If they weren't there last night, I would've been burned to death. I would've been dead," he told ABC-7.

Elmore said he wasn't able to grab his four cats before he ran out. Hours later, he still hasn't found two of them.

"I don't care about the trailer and the stuff inside, but the cats, they're my life," Elmore said.

Another resident woke up to find the fire burning at his front door. He was so distraught he did not want to speak on camera. He did say he and his son were able to get out, but their pit bull died in the fire.

The fire destroyed three homes and damaged a storage shed and some cars, strong winds spreading the flames.

"If trailer two wasn't there, mine would've been fine. The trailers are too close together. This area's like a death trap," Elmore said.

Residents said they're thankful no one was hurt.

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