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July 8, 2014
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Fire destroys Basalt trailer

A residence at the Roaring Fork Mobile Home Park in Basalt was engulfed by fire and destroyed Tuesday morning. The lone occupant at the time escaped unharmed.

Basalt firefighters were called to the scene east of the Basalt Post Office at 5:16 a.m. No one was injured in the blaze, according to Basalt Deputy Fire Chief Pete Bradshaw.

Firefighters prevented the flames from spreading to adjacent homes. Mobile home parks present a challenge because the residences are usually close together, Bradshaw said. Flames licked trees that surrounded the residence and the fire damaged a power pole at the mobile home park. An electrical line fell on the house and hampered firefighting, Bradshaw said. A small, white SUV parked out front of the home escaped major damage though the grill melted.

“The trailer and its contents were a complete loss, unfortunately,” Bradshaw said. The damage was estimated at $120,000 for the mobile home and $30,000 for the contents.

The eastern side of the mobile home was reduced to a charred frame. There was a porch on that side of the trailer by the main entrance.

“Our belief is the fire started on the outside,” Bradshaw said. “There was an old couch out there.”

He said he couldn’t speculate on the cause of the fire. Bradshaw said the fire was not considered suspicious. The fire department and Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office will “evaluate any further information,” the fire department said in a statement.

A young man identified as the occupant of the trailer declined to comment to The Aspen Times.

Basalt resident Bob Rugile said he was at a nearby gas station picking up some items before work shortly after 5 a.m. when he noticed black smoke and thought that was odd. He drove by the scene and saw flames shooting from the structure. He said he could feel the heat from quite a distance away.

Rugile called 911 and dispatchers said firefighters had been alerted.

The fire grabbed the attention of early-risers driving by on Highway 82 and town streets. A huge column of smoke climbed into the calm air and there was an acrid smell throughout town.

Children in pajamas and men and women in work clothes emerged from other trailers after the fire broke out. They stood a safe distance away from the fire as firefighters doused the flames.

The fire department had 29 personnel at the fire, including 19 volunteer firefighters. They also responded with two engines, a ladder truck, a water tender and two ambulances. The fire department arrived on scene within 6 minutes of the call, and had the fire controlled in approximately 45 minutes, according to Bradshaw. Firefighters remained on the scene until about 10 a.m. to mop up operations and complete the investigation.

scondon@aspentimes.com


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The Aspen Times Updated Jul 8, 2014 10:21PM Published Jul 10, 2014 06:42AM Copyright 2014 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.