News in Brief
RIFLE ” Residents made their way out to Deerfield Park Sunday afternoon, but it wasn’t to watch a ball game. Parked cars and spectators lined the streets around Wamsley Elementary School on the north end of town as a field behind the ball diamonds burned.
The blaze, which started between 3 and 3:30 p.m., was declared out around 8 p.m. by incident commander Rob Jones of the Rifle Fire Protection District. No homes were “immediately threatened,” he said.
“It looks like it’s creeping up the hill,” said Liz Gascoine, who was standing across from the field just down from her home in Deerfield Park. “It’s a good thing it isn’t very windy. We usually have a good wind whipping through here.”
“I honestly do not know what caused it at this time; the police are investigating,” said Jones. Garfield County Sheriff Sgt. Kurt Conrad said that the cause of the fire was still unknown.
David Smith, who lives across the street from the park, said he saw a man set up an elaborate toy rocket launcher in the park about 20 minutes before he heard a fire was started.
“I didn’t see him launch any rockets, but it seems pretty logical ” put two and two together,” Smith said.
Conrad said sheriff’s deputies came to the scene to assist the Rifle Police Department in case homes on top of Graham Mesa needed to be evacuated, but no residents had to be evacuated.
PARKER (AP) ” Federal investigators were going through the wreckage Sunday of a fatal plane accident that killed all four people on board when it crashed and caught fire while approaching a suburban airport.
The crash of the Cessna 425 was the fourth fatal accident in nine months near Centennial Airport. The plane went down around 8:20 p.m. Saturday about three miles south of the runway and within a half-mile of an apartment and housing subdivision roughly 20 miles south of Denver.
Aaron Sauer, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator, wouldn’t speculate on the cause of the crash but said it was raining at the time of the accident. There were large power lines in the area, but Sauer said there was no evidence the plane struck anything before it hit the ground.
Sauer said the plane left a 50-foot-long scar on the ground, then bounced up and hit a hill.
No one on the ground was injured and the victims haven’t been identified.
“We don’t know who was on that plane. The way the plane crashed, they’ll need dental records to positively identify the victims,” said Lt. Alan Stanton, spokesman for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
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