Basalt firefighters prevent camper fire from spreading to house | AspenTimes.com

Basalt firefighters prevent camper fire from spreading to house

Quick action by Basalt firefighters prevented flames in a camper trailer from spreading to a single-family home at 481 W. Sopris Creek Road on Friday.

The fire was reported shortly before 11 a.m. about 1 mile away from the Emma schoolhouse. A volunteer lieutenant was the first firefighter to arrive on scene and reported the danger to the structure, according to Deputy Fire Chief Pete Bradshaw.

"When we got there, the flames were probably 20 feet high," Bradshaw said.

The camper trailer was parked alongside the house roughly 10 feet away.

Firefighters sprayed the house with a firefighting foam and water mixture to prevent it from catching ablaze.

"The house was pretty much undamaged," Bradshaw said.

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The trailer was a total loss but a pickup truck parked in front of it escaped damage. The fire was temporarily accelerated during the firefighting when a propane gas tank caught on fire, Bradshaw said. There was no explosion. The flames were knocked down by 11:10 a.m. and the fire was declared out at 11:35 a.m.

The owner of the camper trailer occupies it part-time but wasn't home at the time, according to Bradshaw. The owner of the adjacent home, Rick Bates, was home and reported the fire.

The fire broke out at the rear of the camper trailer, where the damage was heaviest, Bradshaw said. The camper's rear walls were reduced to a brittle shell, which collapsed. It was difficult to determine the cause but the fire isn't considered suspicious, Bradshaw said. An electrical issue is suspected.

Bates reported a power outage earlier in the morning, but the fire department was unable to verify that with the power utility, Bradshaw said.

The loss was estimated by the fire department at $2,000 for the camper and $2,000 for possessions.

Nine Basalt firefighters responded to the site, including four volunteers. Pitkin County deputy sheriffs also responded.

Basalt Fire Department was also called to a vehicle fire near the intersection of Hooks Lane and Hooks Spur Road at 2:13 p.m. Friday.

scondon@aspentimes.com