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Firefighters save Thomasville house

THOMASVILLE ” Thomasville firefighters prevented a historic house from burning to the ground Wednesday night by aggressively attacking the blaze, Basalt fire chief Scott Thompson said Thursday.

Seven volunteers from the Thomasville substation knocked down the flames and prevented the fire from spreading in the house of Dwayne Vasten, Thompson said. Thomasville is about 24 miles east of Basalt.

Vasten, who recently joined the fire department, was at a neighboring home when the fire struck shortly before 8 p.m. “He was at this father’s house and noticed his house was on fire,” Thompson said.

The roof and the back of the house were in flames, as was a nearby woodshed. Seven firefighters from throughout the rural area scrambled to the fire station, grabbed an engine and responded to Vasten’s house, which is only about 200 yards from the firehouse.

The deep snow on the ground made it impossible to tap into the Fryingpan River for water to fight the fire, so the Thomasville firefighters had to conservatively use 1,000 gallons available in their pumper truck, Thompson said. They had the flames knocked down in less than 30 minutes after arriving.

Equipment and another 15 firefighters from Basalt arrived on the scene and mopped up by chasing flames into the walls and hitting hotspots.

“I really want to give credit to the Thomasville people,” Thompson said. “They saved the house.”

No estimate on the damage was available Thursday, but Thompson said it was “considerable.” A bathroom and laundry area were destroyed, but the remainder of the house ” which is more than 100 years old ” was saved. There were no injuries in the fire. Vasten lived at the house with his son, but it will be temporarily uninhabitable.

Investigators headed back to the scene on Thursday morning. “There is evidence of an explosion in the house,” Thompson said.

The residence is served by propane, and the explosion was low in the house, as is a trait of propane problems, the fire chief said. Investigators will look to determine whether the explosion was a cause of the fire or a secondary result.

scondon@aspentimes.com


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