Two fires burn area homes

PNT Staff

The Portales Fire Department reports no injuries but extensive damage to two homes that burned over the weekend.
A single home on Saturday afternoon at 1704 New Mexico 236 was engulfed in flames and is no longer livable, Battalion Chief Darwin Chenault said.
The home belonged to Jamie Banda Sr.
Chenault said he believes arsonists may have started the fire, which caused $25,000 in damage.
Local law enforcement officials said they do not know the whereabouts of Banda or his son, Jamie Banda Jr., 22.
Both Bandas are wanted on charges stemming from an Aug. 24 shooting at Valle del Solle Apartments across from Lindsey Middle School. Two individuals were injured in the shooting, one critically.
Authorities said they are unaware if the fire is related to the August incident.
In an unrelated weekend fire, residents of a home at 1008 E. Brazzo St. were awakened about 4 a.m. Sunday by an explosion in the carport area.
Two adult females and two small children evacuated the home safely, but three dogs died in the fire, officials said.
Firefighters found components of a heat lamp in a dog house under the carport, and said the explosion sounds appear to have been consistent with damage done to the lawn mower and gas grill.
The fire caused about $55,000 in damage, according to the fire report.