An RV in Albuquerque’s North Valley went up in flames after an explosion Friday afternoon, destroying a woman’s livelihood and even killing her service dog.
Neighbors describe the scene like something out of a movie. The explosion threw debris hundreds of feet in the air, and now the community is coming together to help the woman who lost everything.
“Get away Marie, there’s still another tank,” neighbors shouted as the fire broke out, captured on cell phone video.
It was an intense turn of events at the Balloon View RV Park.
“Just a big ole kaboom and everyone’s trailers shook,” said Danielle Hubler, neighbor.
“It just rocked this whole entire neighborhood,” said neighbor Michael Peredo. “It was unbelievable.”
That loud explosion came from a trailer owned by a disabled woman in her 60s named Marie.
“The female subject that lived in there, she was on home oxygen,” said Bernalillo County Fire Lieutenant David Lujan. “Those things are equipped with propane, so when it gets hot enough those things will explode and it did.”
Neighbors say Marie lived in the complex for more than 10 years. She’s well known in the community, so when neighbors saw the fire, concern immediately grew.
“As I was coming towards the scene, I could see her pull up and at that point, nobody could get to her,” Peredo explained.
Neighbors say a frantic Marie ran in and out of her home in an attempt to save her service dog, Prince.
“She was going to go get the dog or she is going to die doing it,” Peredo said.
Unfortunately, Prince did not survive the flames.
“It’s unfortunate because our pets are part of our life and they’re family,” Lt. Lujan said. “But it’s not worth potentially losing your life.”
Marie made it out alive but was transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Family members say she is currently breathing through a tube but is expected to make a full recovery.
When she finally leaves the hospital she won’t have a home to return to, but community members will be there to support her. They are raising money online to help.
“I think she more than anybody deserves to be heard,” said Peredo.
“She didn’t deserve for that to happen,” Hubler said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. It’s unclear if she had a smoke detector, but fire officials encourage everyone to get one to prevent a disaster like this.
A second RV also caught fire. The elderly couple inside that home made it out but, they too lost all of their belongings.