Staff report

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April 14, 2014
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Fire damages Old Snowmass house

Radiant heat from a wood-fired pizza oven is the suspected cause of a fire that broke out at a house on Rose Spur Road on Monday, according to the Basalt Fire Department.

The fire was mostly contained to the interior wall of the kitchen at 740 Rose Spur Road, according to Deputy Fire Chief Pete Bradshaw. Nevertheless, it caused an estimated $100,000 to $200,000 in smoke and structural damage, he said.

An occupant of the house, Julianne Fox, reported the fire at 7:29 a.m. while she was trying to extinguish the blaze, Bradshaw said. A deputy who responded to the scene reported flames visible on the exterior wall of the kitchen. Firefighters arrived at 7:50 a.m. and started “an aggressive interior attack of the fire,” according to a statement from the fire department. Firefighters were on the scene for two hours to ensure that the fire was out and didn’t spread elsewhere in the house.

No one was injured in the fire at the home owned by John Rich, according to the fire department. Rich wasn’t at the home. The residence is located off East Sopris Creek Road in the Old Snowmass area.

Bradshaw said fire investigators suspect that there was a flaw with the design or construction of the wood-fired pizza oven. The oven was being used as a heat source as well as for cooking, he said.

The heat from the oven caught materials on the interior of a wall on fire. “It probably burned a good amount of time before it was discovered,” Bradshaw said.

The fire department responded with one tender truck, one brush truck, one ambulance and two engines with 13 firefighters, including 10 volunteers. Aspen and Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection Districts assisted in the operation.

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The Aspen Times Updated Apr 14, 2014 10:18PM Published Apr 15, 2014 12:42PM Copyright 2014 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.