Fire destroys $1.5 million home under construction near Tano Road

·2 min read

Jul. 20—A Santa Fe family expecting to move into a new home northwest of the city had their hopes shattered when a fire ignited early Sunday morning.

The 5,500-square-foot home at 21 Heartstone Drive, off Tano Road, was a loss, said Capt. Jimmy St. James of the State Fire Marshal's Office. He said the property was valued at around $1.5 million.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Homeowner Anita Griego said the family had been waiting to move into the home for more than a year while it was under construction.

Her husband said he began searching for property in January 2021 and purchased the site on Heartstone Drive in July 2021.

"It's pretty devastating," Anita Griego said. "... It's just a house, but it does kind of hurt. That's where we want to live. ... We kind of invested everything we have to be there."

Construction on the home was "very far along" — with builders set to start installing stucco and drywall, she said.

Emergency dispatchers received several 911 calls around 3 a.m. Sunday reporting the fire, and it took about 30 minutes for crews with the Santa Fe County Fire Department to arrive, St. James said.

Asked what might have slowed the response to the fire, he said, "The location [of] the fire is quite a ways. We all know New Mexico is very rural, so it takes a little bit to respond."

County Battalion Chief Ramon Vilorio declined to provide information about the fire, citing an ongoing investigation.

St. James said the State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the cause and expects to be done within three months. The severity of the damage makes it more difficult to determine the cause, he added.

St. James commended county fire crews for containing the blaze to just one site.

Sunday's unexpected disaster has further delayed the Griego family's move, but Anita Griego indicated they won't give up.

"It's where we want to live and raise our kids," she said. "I don't know why this happened, but it did and we're just going to try and persevere."