Firefighters think snow slide triggered explosion |

Firefighters think snow slide triggered explosion

Matt Stensland
Firefighters cut a hole in the garage wall to reach the turn-off valve for a gas-fueled fire Tuesday night at 466 Cherry Drive.
Courtesy Photo

— It is thought that snow falling from a roof triggered an explosion at a Steamboat Springs duplex Tuesday night.

According to a Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue news release, the official cause of the fire is still under investigation, but firefighters think snow slid off the roof, struck a gas line and some sort of ignition source was triggered.

“With the recent thaw and melt of snow on roofs, Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue would like to remind homeowners to check where ice and snow has slid around gas lines,” the news release stated. “If homeowners notice any damage, they should contact their utility company, and if they smell a gas leak, evacuate the area, contact the fire department and remain a safe distance away until either the utility company or fire department determines that it is safe.”

Firefighters were dispatched to the fire at 466 Cherry Drive at 7:29 p.m. after neighbors heard a loud explosion. Firefighters found a gas-fueled fire on the side of the duplex with heavy flames going into the roof.

David Taylor rents the unit from Magdelena Snyder.

Taylor, a world-renowned quilter, was in Chicago teaching when the explosion occurred.

He said he learned about the fire Wednesday morning, and he did not know the extent of the damage. His friends were going to survey the damage Wednesday, and Taylor planned to return to Steamboat on Thursday.

“I’m very sad that my house blew up, and I’m not able to live there,” Taylor said.

Taylor said he is working with his insurance company to cover damages.

After arriving, firefighters knocked down most of the fire but, in order to prevent another explosion, they initially did not put out the fire coming from the gas line.

Firefighters tried to find a way to shut off the natural gas. Both the meter and pipes were covered in snow.

Firefighters cut a hole from inside the garage to reach a shut-off valve that was not accessible from outside due to the fire.

Damage was estimated at $150,000.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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