Doña Ana County

OVERNIGHT FIRE DESTROYS SOUTH VALLEY FARM BUSINESS

OVERNIGHT FIRE DESTROYS SOUTH VALLEY FARM BUSINESS

An early-morning fire just off Interstate 10 near the Mesquite exit totally destroyed a farm and ranch supply business that operated in Doña Ana County’s South Valley for over a decade.

Landmark Mercantile, located in the 12000 block of Stern Drive in Mesquite, housed agricultural supplies, feed and tack, and was also home to several dozen livestock.

A fire inside the business was reported by passersby at 3:13 a.m. Tuesday. Crews were on scene less than 15 minutes later. Units with the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department, who were first on the scene, reported smoke and flames coming from the northeast side of the building.

According to Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Services, which supervised response efforts, six area fire districts responded with a total of 14 firefighters. Mutual aid was also provided by El Paso County Fire and West Valley Fire. The fire was brought under control by 5:24 a.m., and no injuries to firefighters or civilians were reported.

An initial investigation suggests the fire might have originated in the office area, and was quickly fueled by paperwork and files. Some birds that were inside reportedly perished and a few cats that lived inside the premises were unaccounted for when crews started to clear the area at 11 a.m.

The livestock that lived outside on the property – which included two camels, some cattle and emus – were all reported to be unharmed.  

Fire officials say the building and its entire inventory are a total loss. Damages have been estimated at $1.4 million.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department Public Information Communication Specialist Kelly Jameson at (575) 386-4302.