Sun, Aug. 18

Home burns in Verde Village 5

Firefighters assess damage and check for extensions.

Firefighters assess damage and check for extensions.

VERDE VILLAGE --Homeowners had gone to Phoenix for the day when neighbors saw the smoke under the eaves of their home in the 2100 block of E. Reno Circle Friday night, not far from the pond in Verde Village. The neighbors called 911 and crews from Verde Valley and Cottonwood rushed to the scene. Flames were already pouring out from under the eaves when crews arrived shortly after at 8:42 and flames broke through the roof above the dining room.

Verde Valley Fire Chief Jerry Doerksen says even through control of the blaze was quickly established, hot spots, especially in the roof, continued to be problematic.

Firefighters moved a lot of personal belongings out of the house to protect them and continued to attack hot spots.

The attic and roof structure was extensively damaged in the fire. Doerksen could not estimate a damage amount, but predicted the house may have to be rebuilt.

The investigation and insurance assessment are still pending.

In addition to fire crews from Verde Valley and two engines from Cottonwood, a rehab unit from Verde Valley Ambulance Company was brought to the scene along with Trauma Intervention volunteers.

A Porta-Tank was used to store water from tenders for the engine crews.

Sedona Fire brought an engine and ambulance to stage at Verde Santa Fe to cover other calls for the two agencies active in the firefighting,

Bike trick

COTTONWOOD -- Cottonwood Fire was called to an incident, initially reported as a commercial assignment at the Verde Valley Fairgrounds Saturday night. What they found is that a motorcycle had been attempting a wheel burn. The bike, instead, tipped over backwards, spilling its fuel and bursting into flames.

The rider fled the scene. Witnessed reported that he had suffered burns from the flames.

The motorcycle was reported totally destroyed.

Man jailed in high speed chase

COTTONWOOD -- Cottonwood and Clarkdale Police teamed up to stop a man speeding and driving recklessly in order to evade police. Jeffrey Keister, 45, had been stopped by a Clarkdale Police officer, but he then backed his vehicle into the cruiser and sped off.

Police say the black Chevy Trailblazer reached speeds of up to 80 miles per hour between Clarkdale and Cottonwood. When traffic backed up in front of his vehicle, the Trailblazer jumped the curb, drove on the sidewalk onto S. 10th Street. Cottonwood PD eventually cornered Keister on the dead end street.

Keister's vehicle reportedly endangered at least 15 motorists with his reckless driving.

The man struggled with police as they pulled him from the vehicle, according to the police report. He faces charges of felony flight, endangerment and resisting arrest.

Smoke-Out weekend DUIs

VERDE VALLEY -- May 8-9, the Cottonwood Police, Clarkdale Police, Sedona Police and Yavapai County Sheriff's Office conducted a DUI Saturation Patrol in the Cottonwood, Verde Villages, Clarkdale, and Jerome areas of the Verde Valley.

During the detail, 201 stops were made and 15 drivers were charged with driving under the influence. Of the 15 DUIs, seven were extreme DUI offenses, testing over 0.150 percent. One arrest was an aggravated DUI and five arrests were for DUI/drugs. The average blood alcohol content of the 15 DUIs was 0.167, more than double the legal limit

There were 33 other criminal citations issued as well as four charged with underage consumption of alcohol and two offenses for furnishing alcohol to minors.

DUI Saturation Patrols will continue throughout the year, according to Cottonwood Sgt. Gary Eisenga.

He says, "The Cottonwood Police Department and other law enforcement agencies in Yavapai County will be proactive in the prevention of DUI drivers, whether alcohol or drugs, to insure the general safety of the public.