House fire deemed accident |

House fire deemed accident

Klinger: Gas grill was origin of Stagecoach blaze Saturday

Melinda Dudley

— A fire that severely damaged a Stagecoach home Saturday night has been deemed accidental by investigators.

The fire broke out at about 8 p.m. Saturday at 30515 Ormega Way in the Meadowgreen subdivision. Homeowner Kim Banning, along with Hester Vogel, was about to sit down to dinner when Banning’s 9-year-old daughter, Brooke, noticed the smoke.

“She thought it was dry ice,” Vogel said at the scene Saturday. “She saved our lives.”

The origin of the fire was determined to be a gas grill outside the house, where they had just finished cooking dinner, Routt County Sheriff’s Office investigator Ken Klinger said.

“By the time they figured it all out, the whole porch was on fire,” Klinger said.

Neighbors tried to help fight the fire with garden hoses, but the flames quickly jumped to the home’s upper story. The house was engulfed by the time firefighters from the Oak Creek Fire Protection District and Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue arrived.

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“It went up in a hurry,” Klinger said. “I haven’t seen a modern home burn like that.”

Insurance investigators have not been to the scene, Klinger said. No one was injured in Saturday’s fire, and no other structures were damaged.

Strawberry Park cabin fire still under investigation

The cause of a fire that gutted a small cabin in Strawberry Park earlier this month still is under investigation, Klinger said Wednesday.

No one was injured Oct. 15, when the blaze broke out at about 7 p.m. at a 400-square-foot cabin in the 43500 block of Routt County Road 36, about one mile from Strawberry Park Hot Springs. At the time, investigators said the cabin’s woodstove might have been the source of the fire.

Upon arriving, Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue crews were concerned the fire could spread into dense aspens around the cabin, but the blaze was safely contained at about midnight. The fire crew’s water tender made three trips to bring about 9,000 gallons of water to the remote cabin.