Blaze destroys Old Town Steamboat duplex
2 families displaced by fire at 4th and Oak streets
Steamboat Springs — No one was injured when a duplex caught fire at about 4:20 p.m. Saturday at Fourth and Oak streets.
Steamboat Springs Police Department officers and Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue crews responded and worked to control the blaze after nine people and a dog escaped from the smoke-filled structure.
Residents of the duplex said there might have been an explosion in the basement before the fire.
Jonah Mendoza, 13, was visiting his cousins, who lived in one side of the duplex in the 200 block of Fourth Street.
“I was in the basement, like, next to a door, and I felt a heat wave, like a slap in the face,” Jonah said. “I grabbed (the dog, Ozo) and got out.”
Carlos Hernandez, 16, lives at the duplex with his mother, Hilda Cruz, his father and two sisters.
He escaped with only the clothes on his back, he said.
“My mom heard an explosion coming from downstairs,” he said. “We were in the bathroom talking, then we just heard everybody screaming.”
Jorge Hernandez, who is not related to the other Hernandez family, lives with four other people in the other two-bedroom half of the duplex.
As Jorge Hernandez watched firefighters douse the final embers out in his home, he explained what happened while his friend Nivardo Diaz translated from Spanish.
“They were inside the house when they noticed smoke coming under the door of a room,” Diaz said. “They ran out. They jumped out through the windows.”
Diaz said that the house recently had been foreclosed on and that Jorge Hernandez recently had received a notice to evacuate within two weeks.
The fire started in the basement of the duplex, but Fire Marshal Jay Muhme said the cause still was unknown about an hour after crews responded.
He only could guess at the extent of the damage.
“I’m pretty sure they’re totaled,” Muhme said.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Real estate transactions totaled $42,885,400 across 51 sales for week of Sept. 17 to 23.