Steamboat duplex hit by fire demolished
New owner hopes to build small commercial building in its place
• Aug. 14, 2010: Blaze destroys Old Town Steamboat duplex
• Aug. 16, 2010: Steamboat tenants see help after duplex fire
• Oct. 6, 2010: Fire marshal: Fumes fed Steamboat duplex fire
Steamboat Springs — Two duplex units at Fourth and Oak streets, including one damaged by a fire in August that displaced 18 residents, were being torn down Thursday.
According to the Routt County Assessor’s Office website, Steamboat Springs-based Plimsoll LLC bought the 0.16-acre property March 21 for $325,000. The units, built in 1949 and remodeled in 1970, were foreclosed on before the Aug. 18 fire.
The local address listed for Plimsoll indicates that the owner is Boyd Bass.
Steve Peterson, who arranged the demolition for Bass, said the owner had planned to rebuild on the lot zoned for residential and commercial uses later in summer. But Peterson said that timetable likely had been pushed back to spring 2012.
“We’ve been working on this demo stuff for a couple of months now,” he said. “What he would like is a small commercial building, maybe with offices or studios.”
Peterson said Bass was participating in the Bicycle Tour of Colorado. He couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Steamboat Springs Fire Marshal Jay Muhme said in October that a plastic bucket filled with solvent or gasoline on the back porch likely caused the fire. At the time, he said the source of the ignition wasn’t known.
The 18 displaced residents temporarily were relocated to housing provided by Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. at The Ponds at Steamboat.
Local American Red Cross volunteers helped organize the immediate response, which Integrated Community took over shortly after.
Sheila Henderson, program coordinator for Integrated Community, said the residents all stayed in town and found permanent homes by November. She thanked the community for its support.
“There were a lot of people that helped them,” she said. “We kind of coordinated that. LIFT-UP (of Routt County) helped. There were individual donations. The schools helped. The churches helped. There were a lot of people that helped.”
Shortly before the fire, Bank of America had taken ownership of the home from residents Evan and Lisa Hough and Denver developer John Buchanan.
They were the owners primarily involved with an entity called Steamboat Green Community Development. Through that entity, Buchanan earned Steamboat Springs City Council approval in October 2008 for the Inspiritu Verde project, which sought to replace the duplex and its matching neighbor with two environmentally designed buildings.
Marketing material for the property indicates the units on the property would need to be removed by the new owner.
Peterson said because the furnace for the units was in the one damaged by the fire and its water and gas service also ran through that unit, it wasn’t livable and had to be demolished.
Kris Lodwick, of KL Wildnerness in Steamboat, started tearing down the units at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. He said demolition likely would be complete Friday.
— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com
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