Guffey-area firefighters were reminded of just how hot, quick and dangerous a fire can be when they responded to a structure fire on Jan. 9 about 15 miles northeast of Guffey in south-eastern Park County.
The Guffey-based Southern Park County Fire Protection District, or SPCFPD, responded at about 9:30 p.m. in the 4-Mile 2600 subdivision (there are two 4-Mile subdivisions).
The Sheriff's Office computer-aided dispatch identified the address as 143 Ring Road and an owner as Ken Martin.
Upon returning to their residence, the owners smelled smoke and immediately called 911. SPCFPD responded with with seven firefighters, two structure engines and a command vehicle.
Mutual aid was requested from Four Mile Fire Protection District, and Four Mile Fire Chief Lance Crummett was the first on scene. Upon sizing up the situation, he had his crew stand down.
The owners had left their wood stove unattended to run some errands. While they were gone, the radiant heat from the stove started a nearby stack of firewood smoldering. The smoldering fire crept to the carpet and into the floor joists and then it all fell into the crawl space, where it was contained, burning a four-foot-by-two-foot hole in the floor and two floor joists, said SPCFPD Fire Chief Gene Stanley.
A smoldering fire like that can also do extensive smoke and soot damage to the interior of a buildling. Response time of the SPCFPD would have been quicker with more volunteers in that area, said Stanley.
Stanley extended his thanks to Four Mile for its quick response.
An owner told The Flume that they really did not know where they were going to stay and they were waiting on the insurance company.
The insurance company has them staying in a hotel in Woodland Park. The owners are not staying at the residence bceause of the smoke damage. They were able to save only a few items of clothing, and they thought that everything else would have to be trashed.
Note: Writer Flip Boettcher is on the board of directors of the Southern Park County Fire Protection District.