Snake’s heat lamp may have caused fire |

Snake’s heat lamp may have caused fire

Dennis Webb
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Glenwood Springs firefighters responded to a fire at a home on Traver Trail Monday afternoon. (Kelley Cox/Post Independent)

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” A heat lamp for a pet snake may have started a fire that damaged the home of two Glenwood Springs veterinarians Monday.

The fire occurred in an upper, rear bedroom of the home of Bob Thorsen and Lori Pohm at the top of Traver Trail at a little before 2 p.m. Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Mike Piper estimated that it caused roughly $150,000 in damage.

No one was in the house at the time. Thorsen, who was headed to the scene later Monday afternoon, said he believed the snake died in the fire. He said it also was his understanding that a cat had gotten out of the home and run away.

Thorsen and Pohm’s three children, three dogs and their other cat all were at their veterinary clinic on Grand Avenue when the fire broke out.

Piper said a quick response to the fire helped limit its spread. Smoke from the fire was widely visible in the Glenwood area, so the department immediately received several calls about it, and initially thought it might have been a wildfire because of its location. He said firefighters arrived within six minutes and put out the fire in about 10 minutes.

“We did a real quick knockdown here,” he said.

Piper said the fire was limited to the bedroom but caused a lot of smoke damage in the home.

Said Thorsen, “I’m guessing it’s going to take a long time to fix it.”

Still, he said, it could have been a lot worse.

Piper said two tripped circuit breakers led firefighters to focus their attention on the heat lamp as a possible cause. Thorsen said the fire damage appeared to be in the area where the snake was being kept.

Thorsen and Pohm have lived for a year in the three-bedroom stucco home, which features a roof covered with vegetation.

A total of 11 firefighters and two engines responded to the fire. Four Carbondale firefighters temporarily staffed Glenwood’s downtown fire station during the inciden