House a ‘total loss’ after North Routt fire; larger wildfire avoided

A house in North Routt County burned to the ground in a fire on Monday.
North Routt Fire Protection District/Courtesy Photo

North Routt Fire Protection District firefighters are back out around the remains of a home that burned to the ground west of Hahns Peak on Monday to make sure there are not any hot spots in the area that could spark a wildfire.

North Routt Fire Chief Mike Swinsick said while the home was a total loss, crews were able to prevent the fire from spreading to the surrounding forest.

“Fortunately, no one was inside during the fire, but by the time smoke was spotted, we were behind the eight ball,” Swinsick said. “When I got up here, fire was already through the roof and out all the windows, so our main focus at that time was to get the fire on the ground out, so we didn’t end up with a big wildland fire up here.”

Right when firefighters showed up, Swinsick said it was clear the house was already lost, so they focused on putting out any spot fires that developed, with some sparking up as far as 400 feet away from the home. Still, they were small, with most of them limited to about the size of a basketball, Swinsick said.

“No amount of water that we were bringing to the race was going to do any good, so instead of burning it all on pouring it into the smoldering foundation, so to speak, we focused on making sure we had all the spot fires out,” Swinsick said.

The owners of the property have been notified of the blaze, and Swinsick said the investigation into the cause is ongoing, though he suspects bedroom linens on an electric baseboard heater could be the cause.

The structure was located on Zsuzsiyama Lane southwest of the intersection of Forest Service roads 490 and 410.

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