North of Nell hit by small blaze
October 24, 2002
A small fire damaged the North of Nell building on Durant Street in downtown Aspen Wednesday night.
The Aspen Volunteer Fire Department responded to a report of smoke and water coming from the building around 9:40 p.m.
Three engines and approximately 16 firefighters went to the building at the base of Aspen Mountain and discovered smoke in a third-floor condominium on the northeast corner of the building.
One door had to be broken down to gain access to a unit before security personnel arrived on the scene with pass keys to the privately owned condos.
When the sliding-glass doors to the third-floor condo were opened by firefighters, a plume of smoke rose above the balconies, and the inside of the unit was filled with smoke. Crews called for fans to be brought up to help clear the smoke.
Shortly before 10 p.m., the fire was deemed under control. No one was reported injured. Crews began looking on the fourth floor to see if the fire had climbed higher into the building, which it apparently did not.
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It was possible that the fire damaged a water line in a condo, which then caused water to run down to the Incline ski shop on the first floor as well as the retail space where a new Starbucks coffee shop is under construction.
“We’re doing everything we can to keep the water damage down as much as we can,” said Capt. Bill McEnteer of the fire department while on the scene. “We’re using salvage covers to reduce the damage.”
Fire Marshal Ed Van Walraven was expected to go the North of Nell last night to assess the damage from the fire and try to determine its cause.
[Brent Gardner-Smith’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org]