Blast, fire engulfs home near Breckenridge
Summit County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. ” An explosion and fire ripped through a Blue River home Wednesday night, closing Colorado Hwy. 9 and lighting up the night sky while firefighters battled the blaze.
One man was thought to have been at the home at the time of the 7 p.m. explosion, but he survived without serious injury, said Capt. Kim Scott of the Red, White and Blue Fire Protection District.
“We were eating dinner, and as I was putting a piece of meatloaf to my mouth, we heard a boom that shook the foundation of the house,” said Dan Radgowski, who lives next door to the home.
The force of the explosion blew out the walls of the log home and popped the roof into the sky, he said.
“It blew these logs like they were toothpicks into the front yard,” he said.
Radgowski ran outside and started yelling for any survivors, and a man who lives in the mother-in-law unit above the detached garage came out unscathed. The renter indicated that the homeowners were away.
“If anybody was in that house, they would have been exploded,” Radgowski said. Within minutes, the home at 0081 Blue Rock Road in the Leap Year subdivision south of Breckenridge was so fully engulfed that firefighters could not even enter the building.
Instead, they were relegated to trying to prevent the flames from spreading to nearby trees.
Because Blue River has no municipal water supply or hydrants, firefighters were limited to water that could be trucked in on tankers, said Paulette Horr, spokeswoman for the Summit County Sheriff’s Department.
Colorado Hwy. 9 was closed between Boreas Pass Road and the top of Hoosier Pass because the fire was only an estimated 50 feet off the highway and churning heavy smoke as emergency vehicles rushed to the scene.
“I could see flames high as the one stoplight out here,” said Kelly Smith, one of the area residents who was stopped at a police barricade and prevented from returning home. “There were crazy amounts of embers.”
Flames were visible from high points south of Breckenridge.
“We’re staring at a bonfire dude,” Radgowski said. “Where the house was, it’s just a pile of rubble, smoldering. It’s total devastation.”
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