Fire levels apartments in Snowmass Village |

Fire levels apartments in Snowmass Village

John Colson

A home on Sinclair Road in Snowmass Village burned down Monday morning when a couch in a lower-floor apartment apparently burst into flames after smoldering for an undetermined amount of time.

Two neighbors, Vance Feast and Steve Montez, tried to drag the smoldering couch out of the building, but it “exploded” and forced them to retreat, Feast said Monday morning.

According to Feast, the fire at the home known as the Paris House was first spotted shortly before 9:30 a.m. on Monday by a couple of women hiking in the hilly terrain above the road.

The two women dashed to Feast’s nearby house and told him, Feast said, and he and Montez ran out to check the house for occupants.

As they approached, Feast said, the home’s sole occupant, Kirsten Koehlur, opened a sliding glass door and ran outside. A smoldering couch was visible inside the ground-floor apartment.

Feast said he and Montez started to run in to drag the couch out, but it suddenly burst into flames that soon spread to the walls and other furnishings.

Feast said he moved Koehlur’s car, and that he and Montez began dousing their own home with a fire hose to prevent it from catching fire, too.

He said a propane tank attached to an outdoor grill on an upper deck exploded at one point, sending flames shooting high into the sky and catching the upper portion of the house on fire.

Snowmass and Wildcat Fire Department Chief Bill Cowan said his department got the 911 call at 9:32 and had the fire under control within about a half an hour. Cowan said firefighters did not leave until nearly 1:30 p.m.

He said Koehlur was treated for minor smoke inhalation by medics on the scene and released. No other injuries were reported.

The house, which he said contained several apartments, was heavily damaged.

“I suspect it’s totaled,” he said.

The exact cause of the fire was not immediately known, and it is under investigation, Cowan said.

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