Former sheriff pulls man from travel trailer after explosion |

Former sheriff pulls man from travel trailer after explosion

Firefighters from Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue move to a different position after dowsing the flames that resulted from an explosion at the Eagle Soaring RV Park west of Steamboat Springs. The explosion sent one man to the hospital Tuesday evening, and the cause of the explosion is still under investigation by the Routt County Sheriff's Office.
John F. Russell

— The Routt County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the explosion of a travel trailer at the Eagle Soaring RV Park just west of Steamboat Springs Tuesday night.

“A travel trailer inside the Eagle Soaring RV park exploded,” Routt County Undersheriff Ray Birch said. “It was pretty much leveled and burned. We had one person that we suspect was either in or around the trailer at the time of the explosion, and they are being treated at the hospital. Right now, we are in the preliminary stages of our investigation.”

Birch would not speculate on the cause of the explosion and did not elaborate on the condition of the man, who was pulled from the burning trailer by the park manager and another good Samaritan.

John Warner, who is a former Routt County sheriff, was sitting outside of his home with his wife, Sharon, when their quiet evening was interrupted by the earth-shaking explosion.

“Sharon and I were sitting out at the picnic table right behind my rig, and we heard this explosion and could feel the concussion,” Warner said. “I told Sharon to call 911, and I ran down there and my first concern was the propane tanks on the front of the trailer. I shut those off and went to the door to see if I could see anybody and by then it was fully engulfed.”

Warner attempted to locate survivors, knowing that a man and his two dogs had been living at the park for the past several weeks.

“I knew there were two dogs in there, and I was screaming and hollering to see if I could get the dogs out,” Warner said. “Then I saw bare feet sticking out of the back of the trailer. The back of the trailer was blown out, so I came around, grabbed him and drug him about halfway across the road before I lost my breath. Then an off-duty fireman who lives west of here showed up, and we got him the rest of the way across the street.”

By the time Warner and the other man got the victim to a grassy area away from the explosion, he was conscious and breathing. He was transported to Yampa Valley Medical Center by ambulance.

Warner guessed that the travel trailer was 28 to 30 feet in length and was a tongue-pull trailer that is normally pulled by a pickup truck.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966

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