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Sedona New Year’s Eve Chapel Fire Update

Sedona Fire Station 6 is located near the Chapel roundabout on SR 179, Sedona.

Sedona AZOn December 31, 2019, Sedona Fire District crews were dispatched to a structure fire at 49 Eagle Lane in the Chapel area and arrived on scene six minutes and seven seconds after dispatch. The reported fire had fully engulfed the structure and threatened nearby buildings.

Firefighters took a defensive posture and directed resources to protect the nearby exposed buildings.

“Our firefighters did a great job keeping the fire confined to the building of origin. Our first goal is always life safety. Second to that is protecting property. In this case, when we arrive to a fully involved building, we protect the surrounding buildings and vegetation. The fact that no one was injured and we successfully protected the surrounding buildings is very good,” said Fire Chief Jon Trautwein adding, “Responding from Station 6 really illustrated the importance of having a station located between the VOC and Sedona.”

After the structure fire was fully extinguished, fire crews remained on scene around the clock for the next four days while a fire investigation was completed. Sedona Fire Investigators requested and received assistance from Sedona Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), and the Gilbert Fire Department which has a dog certified by BATFE.

During the investigation, samples from the fire scene were collected and sent to the BATFE lab for analysis.

“We do not expect to get results back on those samples for several weeks,” Fire Marshal Jon Davis explained.

Davis added that in some cases results take several months, “At this time, we believe the cause may be accidental although we have not yet ruled out every potential possibility. It is not uncommon for buildings under construction to catch fire.” He also pointed out that many trades work at construction sites and use multiple sources of heat to apply roofing, install plumbing, and cutting or welding.

Construction fires tend to burn quickly and intensely for a multitude of reasons:

  • There are no doors or windows to restrict air flow to the fire.
  • Lumber is not only kiln dried, but is also arranged in a vertical orientation and without drywall to protect the structural members.
  • The arrangement of this particular structure was such that there was large open area with vaulted ceilings connecting the first and second floors.

Sedona Police Department is on Roadrunner Drive, west Sedona.

“In a finished home we are essentially dealing with multiple small compartments protected by drywall, in a construction fire we have one large unprotected structure with unrestricted air flow. There is a reason buildings are built the way the codes require,” explained the SFD Fire Marshal.

No injuries were reported during the fire and the estimated loss is $480,000.

At this time, the investigation remains open. Anyone with any information about this fire should contact the Sedona Fire District Fire Investigator Evans at 928-204-8926 or the Sedona Police Department Detective Bergstad at 928-282-3100.



  1. MShobert says:

    Great idea putting a fire station at that location. Amazing foresight. Great strategery! Visionary masterpiece.

  2. @MShobert says:

    Of course the Village station is only 5 minutes away. There is the other little factor the the Chapel station gets maybe 1 call out a week.

  3. Amazing response time says:

    The distance according to Google maps is .9 mile. If SFD was driving 30 mph it should have taken SFD one minute to drive. If it took them 5 minutes to leave the fire house they need to have a few drills or perhaps not be so sound asleep when the alarm sounds. They should have been able to run there in 6 minutes. Good thing no one was having a heart attack.

  4. Poor response time says:

    Los Angeles Fire Department leaves the station after a turnout in an average of 1 minute 15 seconds. If you figure a two minute drive time, ( for under a mile with lights and siren) it took SFD 4 minutes and 7 seconds to turn out. Then they let the structure burn to the ground, because well, they give lots of excuses.

    In other words, they got there pretty slow and just watched. Great job !!!

  5. @MSchobert says:

    You would think it is “Great strategery! Visionary masterpiece.” if SFD put a fire station an every block. It would still take them over six minutes to respond.

    We can never be too safe, right?

  6. MShobert says:

    Spend your golden years whining and complaining. Watching all you NIMBYS, act the way you do – warms my heart. Life is short – complain all you can, about everything. You are to cowardice to even use your real names. Real tough commenting under an alias. Jokers, posers, one and all.

  7. John Daniels says:

    Of course, with government, the worse the performance the more they try to spin it as good. The response time was terrible. I bet it paid overtime to walk around the debris for 4 days.

  8. Marianne Hanson says:

    4 minutes, 6 minutes…. they work hard. Rush into places most definitely would not, they are well trained and shame on you for trying to belittle them. Their next rescue could be you, stop the complaining and be grateful that there’s someone willing to risk theirs for yours.

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