Carbondale fire, bank break-in appear linked

Will Grandbois
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Carbondale firefighters work in an office at the Third Street Center early Wednesday after a fire was put down in one of the offices there.
Provided photo / Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District |


Carbondale police ask that anyone with information regarding Wednesday morning’s incidents call (970) 963-2662.

A fire apparently set on purpose at Carbondale’s Third Street Center early Wednesday may be linked to a fruitless bank break-in that also happened overnight.

“The fire was suspicious in origin, and we don’t think it was accidental,” said Rob Goodwin, Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District deputy chief.

Linda Taylor, executive director of the Center for Independence, based in Grand Junction, said officials told her that the fire at her organization’s Carbondale office was set on purpose.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation was helping Carbondale fire and police officials with the investigation.

In a twist, Police Chief Gene Schilling said authorities think the fire may be related to a break-in at the ANB Bank at 409 Dolores Way.

Here’s how the night unfolded:

Firefighters and police responded at 1:30 a.m. to the Third Street Center, 520 S. Third, to find smoke coming from a window on the east side of the building. Audible alarms and flashing lights were going off, and a neighbor had already extinguished the fire before firefighters arrived.

“It was pretty much out, but the building was full of smoke” when the Fire Department got there, Goodwin said.

A couple hours later, at 3:55 a.m., police responded to an alarm at ANB Bank to find glass broken in both sets of entry doors.

“It appears that a suspect entered the bank but did not take anything,” police said in a statement.

The break-in suspect is described as tall and thin and was wearing black clothing.

At the Third Street Center “there’s more water damage than fire damage,” Goodwin said.

“This fire reinforces the fact that fire sprinkler systems really do work,” he said. “Having a sprinkler system in place prevented the fire from spreading to other parts of the Third Street Center and causing further damage.”

The fire did not spread beyond the center’s office, but it was unknown when the nonprofit will be able to reopen.

No one was injured, and no loss amount had been determined.