PAHRUMP — A suspicious fire destroyed at least two structures on the historic Binion Ranch property over the weekend.
Pahrump Fire Chief Scott Lewis said crews were dispatched to 700 East Wilson Road just before 2 a.m. on Saturday and found a large fire involving what was once a sprawling horse stable.
“Crews accessed the property, where they made their way through the complex, and as they arrived in the area of the stables, they also observed a second structure separated by 100 to 125 feet, which was also well involved,” Lewis said. “Crews commenced a defensive exterior attack, working on both buildings and protecting nearby exposures.”
Due to the size of the fire and numerous exposures on the property, Lewis said, an “all-hands” response was requested, bringing in additional crews and resources.
Crews also used hydrants in a subdivision across the street to provide additional water .
“Crews worked diligently to control the fire with no further extension,” Lewis said. “The stables were controlled within an hour after arrival. The one portion of the building was controlled in about 25 minutes after arrival, however, it was observed that the fire was sandwiched between the roof surface and the walls of the structure that was erected around the late 1800s or early 1900s.”
Lewis also noted that he and Fire Capt. Steve Moody entered the second burning structure to determine what crews were up against.
Lewis said crews were forced to remain at the scene into Sunday morning because of structures reigniting.
“We were also back throughout the night and into Sunday, making sure the hot spots were eliminated in preparation of red flag warnings this week,” he said.
One firefighter apparently suffered from heat exhaustion and was treated at the scene, Lewis said.
Lewis said the cause of the fire is suspect in nature, and an investigation is underway by Pahrump Valley Fire & Rescue, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office and the Nevada State Fire Marshal’s Office.
The chief said the department’s goal was to get crews as much rest as possible and to make sure their equipment was prepared for the upcoming Storm Area 51 event, just north of the Pahrump Valley, but those plans were dashed by the Binion Ranch fire.
Binion was 55 when his body was found face up on the floor of his 6,700-square-foot home on Palomino Lane in Las Vegas on Sept. 17, 1998.
Binion’s girlfriend, Sandy Murphy, and her lover, Rick Tabish, were later convicted, then acquitted, of his murder. In the days after Binion’s death, Tabish tried to take $6 million in silver from a buried vault in Pahrump.
Las Vegas Review-Journal