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Mobile home fire

Crews respond to a structure fire Thursday at a mobile home near Murtaugh.

MURTAUGH — A mobile home fire that killed one man and injured another the morning of Dec. 6 began when food was left unattended while cooking on an electric stove, the state fire marshal said Friday. Juan Carlos Arias-Saragos, 20, was found dead inside a mobile home at 4250 E. 3000 N. that went up in flames just before 8 a.m. Thursday.

Another man who was also in the home at the time escaped out of a back window, the Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office said. Javier Vargas was flown to a hospital in Utah for smoke inhalation and minor cuts. There did not appear to be a smoke detector in the home, Fire Marshal Knute Sandahl said.

“It’s troublesome the number of fires we’ve had where there has been no evidence of smoke detectors,” Sandahl said. “Quite honestly, the way fires rapidly grow and spread nowadays, (people) need precious seconds to get out.”

Sandahl said investigators did not know how or why the food was left unattended on the stove.

“We can only speculate that the cooking operation was started and they walked away and fell asleep,” Sandahl said. “But that’s only speculation.”

Fire crews were called to the scene when someone driving by noticed the fire and called 911. The mobile home and at least two cars were destroyed by the blaze. Arias-Saragos was taken to Boise for an autopsy, where the cause of death was determined to be smoke inhalation, the coroner’s office said.

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