Fire investigation continues
Investigators don't suspect arson in The Pines blaze
December 28, 2006
Steamboat Springs — Investigators haven’t determined what caused Tuesday’s fire in a 12-unit condominium building at The Pines, but they don’t think the fire was started intentionally.
Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue Marshall Jay Muhme said Wednesday he is waiting for insurance investigators to arrive in Steamboat Springs before going through The Pines Condominiums building that caught fire at about 6:20 p.m. Tuesday.
“It looks like it was fairly cut and dry, but I won’t be able to determine anything until actually looking through the building,” he said.
Several maintenance workers were working in the building shortly before the fire began, and investigators are looking into the possibility that the workers started the fire, Muhme said.
“We’re following up on all leads,” he said.
A woman living next door to the building called 911 after noticing smoke billowing from the roof.
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Building residents, which included unit owners and short- and long-term renters, were evacuated Tuesday evening. The building was declared off limits after the blaze was fully contained at about 11 p.m. Tuesday. Residents and visitors staying in the building’s units won’t be allowed to return indefinitely because there is no heat, electricity or water.
“The center part of the building is unlivable,” Muhme said. “The fire caused considerable damage to two of the upper-level units and some water damage to the lower-level units.”
The units most likely will remain empty the rest of the week until fire and insurance investigators decide what to do with the building.
“The whole building, whether it was affected by fire or not, is pretty much shut down until further notice,” he said.