Police still mum on fatal New Castle fire | AspenTimes.com
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Police still mum on fatal New Castle fire

Heidi Rice
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

NEW CASTLE, Colo. – The identity of a person who died in a trailer home fire on North Seventh Street in New Castle on Tuesday evening was not released Wednesday, nor has the cause of the fire been determined.

The New Castle Police Department would only verify that there had been a fatality, but would not disclose the gender of the deceased. Neighbors who witnessed the scene first-hand, however, said the victim was a woman who had lived in the trailer for a long time.

According to Pastor Wes McGuire of the First Baptist Church in Rifle, the husband was returning home from work around 5:30 p.m. when he saw the trailer on fire. A neighbor reportedly called 911 after seeing smoke coming from the residence.

New Castle Police Chief Chris Sadler said no details about the cause of the fire were available as of Wednesday evening, but he said the Colorado Bureau of Investigation had been summoned to investigate possible arson activity; there are no arson investigators on the town’s police department.

“If there is a fatality with a fire involved, we always look at it as a suspicious death,” said Tanny McGinnis, community relations supervisor for the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.

Sadler said that the victim’s identity would not be released, pending the results of an autopsy by the county coroner. He said the cause of the fire is still undetermined, but that the arson investigators had concluded their investigation.

“At this point, we don’t know if it was or was not an arson,” Sadler said.

A number of emergency personnel from around the area responded to the incident, including the New Castle Police Department, Burning Mountains Fire Protection District, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, West Care Ambulance, the American Red Cross and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

hrice@postindependent.com


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