The actions of a local man are being praised for preventing injuries and maybe saving lives after a fire broke out the afternoon of Tuesday, July 16 behind the building of a Parker fraternal organization.
A fire broke out shortly before 5 p.m. at the Fraternal Order of Eagles at 1300 Arizona Avenue, at the corner of Mohave and Arizona Avenues. Eagles’ member Nathan Torres was driving past the building on Mohave Avenue when he saw that much of the yard behind the building and the rear of the building itself were on fire.
Torres pulled up his truck in front of the building, ran inside, and shouted for everyone to get out because the building was on fire. The building was quickly evacuated. Many of the people inside had been in the front of the building and were unaware of the fire.
Once outside, many of the Eagles’ members credited Torres with preventing injuries and saving lives.
“He’s our hero,” one of them said.
Braving the heat and responding to the fire were the Parker, Buckskin, and Colorado River Indian Tribes Fire Departments, the Parker and CRIT Police Departments and the La Paz County Sheriff’s Officed.
According to Parker Police Lt. Mike Bailey, the fire started with a propane grill in the back yard. The grill was being used to heat cooking grease for tacos. Bailey said either the grease or one of the propane tanks caught fire. He described the damage to the building as “substantial.”
This is the second time in less than two months that the building belonging to a social/fraternal/service organization in Parker has caught fire. On May 26, the building that housed Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7061 was destroyed in a fire. The members of the VFW Post had been meeting at the Eagles while plans were being made to rebuild their post.