Fire destroys storage building at Eddy County Sheriff’s Posse Arena

Electrical failure apparently caused thousands of dollars in damage to a building at the Eddy County Sheriff’s Posse Arena east of Carlsbad Nov. 11, said a City of Carlsbad Fire Department official.

Scott Maxwell, battalion chief, said four stations from the Carlsbad Fire Department along with personnel from Eddy County Fire and Rescue (ECFR) responded to the blaze around 12:48 p.m.

A Facebook post from the Sheriff’s Posse said an old concession stand used for storage by the bucking chutes burned down.

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Jennie Duncan Rennie, treasurer and events coordinator with the Eddy County Sheriff’s Posse Board of Directors, said the building was on the southside of the arena

“The building is an older building. Probably built in the 1980s originally as a concession stand. Over time it has been transitioned into a storage building no longer operating as a concession stand,” Maxwell said.

“When we arrived, it was just light smoke showing. Not a real aggressive fire that’s because what we assumed it pretty much snuffed itself out. Burned all the oxygen.”

The Eddy County Sheriff's Posse Flag Team presents colors at the the Posse Arena in Carlsbad during the 2016 Western Week. A storage building burned to the ground during a Nov. 11, 2021 fire, officials said.

Maxwell said once firefighters opened the building, fire activity increased because of outside oxygen.

“Which is expected. We had extinguished it rather quickly, probably by 15 minutes,” he said.

Rennie said the building was made of cinder block and had a metal roof.

“It was melted inside,” she side. “None of the electrical (operations) had been updated.” 

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Maxwell said the Eddy County Fire Investigation Task Force Team worked with Sheriff’s Posse members to determine the cost of damage. 

“Just because of the items that were inside, they were trying to find out value and all that on it,” Maxwell said.

Rennie said the fire burned all sorts of items used for various performances at the arena.

A calf roper takes down a calf at the Eddy County Sheriff's Posse Arena.

“It burned all of our barrel covers, flags, hoses we water the arena with,” she said.

Rennie said a sound system and timing equipment used for barrel races was also lost in the blaze.

She said two events slated for Nov. 13 and Nov. 14 continued despite the fire. 

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