Disaster averted in Fryingpan house fire
The Aspen Times
The owners of a mobile home 5 miles up Fryingpan Road from Basalt acted fast to keep their three children safe and snuff a fire before it could cause much damage Monday night, according to firefighters.
The Basalt Fire Department received a call for a structure fire and possible smoke inhalation by five occupants at 6:13 p.m.
“Based on that information, we were expecting it to be a rip-roaring fire,” said Richard Cornelius, division chief for the fire department.
Monday night happened to be when volunteers with the department were conducting an inspection of fire trucks at the Basalt station starting at 6, so the response time was just 14 minutes, Cornelius said. They responded with 13 firefighters, three ambulances as well as fire trucks.
The couple living in the trailer got their young children out of the house. Then, the father used a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze, according to Cornelius. The point of origin was a compartment outside of the mobile home where the hot-water heated is stored, he said.
“We just had light smoke showing when we arrived,” Cornelius said. Firefighters tore away some insulation to make sure sparks didn’t spread within the walls. The family was able to remain in the house and the water heater was still working. The damage was minor, Cornelius said.
Firefighters also installed a combination fire and carbon monoxide detector in the residence, according to Cornelius.
The residence is located on the north side of Fryingpan Road, close to where an apartment complex burned down in December 2011 and displaced 33 people. There are roughly six mobile homes in the area, but they were spaced well apart and no other structure was in danger, Cornelius said.
He said it was “very fortunate” the incident turned out like it did. If the residents hadn’t been home or if it happened while they were sleeping, the outcome could have been significantly different. In addition, it was fortunate the occupants had access to a fire extinguisher and knew how to use is, Cornelius said.
“Quite frankly, it saved the structure,” he said.
At the Pitkin County commissioners’ work session Tuesday, the Community Office for Resource Efficiency’s CBMP presented an update to commissioners on work to address the methane after the county allocated $200,000 to the effort in March 2022.