GoFundMe started to raise money for victims of weekend structure fire near Elk Mountain
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Lifelong Routt County resident David Stone has always been one to help others during a hard time and rarely asks for anything in return.
But when a structure fire on Sunday destroyed his mechanic shop, along with more than 40 years worth of tools and equipment inside, he felt helpless. Stone does not have insurance to cover the losses, which include costly items like auto parts and welding equipment, some of which he has had since he started doing mechanic work at age 10.
“Right now I’m just in shock,” Stone said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
The blaze also destroyed an apartment attached to the shop, where his 20-year-old daughter Katelyn was living with her boyfriend Lucas Krey.
“They lost everything they own,” Stone said.
Since then, friends and family have rushed to his aid, setting up a GoFundMe account to raise money for Stone and his family. As of Tuesday afternoon, the online fund had raised almost $6,000 from 31 donors. The goal is to raise $600,000. People can donate to the GoFundMe page at gf.me/v/c/xxb7/david-stone-fire-recovery-fund.
People also can visit both Mountain Valley Bank locations in Steamboat and make a donation to Stone, according to bank officials.
Just before 6 p.m. Sunday, Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighters received a report of the fire at 42355 Routt County Road 46A. By the time firefighters drove the 12 miles to the scene, both the shop and apartment were actively burning, according to Deputy Chief Chuck Cerasoli.
Katelyn Stone and her boyfriend were among a handful of civilians trying to douse the flames on their own. They also pulled out flammable equipment, such as dirt bikes, propane tanks and welding supplies, before it caught fire
West Routt, North Routt and Oak Creek fire protection districts assisted Steamboat firefighters. They were able to prevent the flames from spreading and to protect Stone’s home, multiple vehicles and equipment near the shop. Eventually the flames reached the roof, according to Cerasoli, and the structure collapsed on itself.
David Stone was with his girlfriend, Maureen Totman, when he got a call from his daughter about the fire. The first thing he was worried about was the safety of Katelyn and her boyfriend as they tried to battle the blaze.
“I was scared to death something was going to happen to them,” Stone said.
Natasha Totman, Maureen’s daughter, saw a post about the fire from Katelyn Stone’s Snapchat, a social media site. A student at University of Colorado Boulder, Natasha immediately set up the GoFundMe account to help a man who has been a saving grace to her in the past, particularly with car troubles.
“He’s such a generous person,” she said.
“Dave is one of those guys that would do anything for anyone,” Maureen added. “It is difficult for him because he never wants to ask anyone for help.”
On Tuesday, just two days after the fire, Stone was out working on a neighbor’s tractor, partly to take his mind off the weekend’s tragedy.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. Cerasoli expects to have more information by Wednesday. He said it will be a tough investigation because of the extent of the damage.
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