Investigators do not believe Hayden church fire was arson |

Investigators do not believe Hayden church fire was arson

West Routt Fire Protection District firefighters work at Wednesday night's fire at Mission of Grace church in Hayden.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Investigators do not believe a fire Wednesday evening at the Mission of Grace church in Hayden was intentionally set.

“At this point, the initial investigation indicates it being an accident — something mechanical,” Hayden Police Chief Greg Tuliszewski said. “We don’t have any indications of foul play.”

Tuliszewski said they are investigating whether audio equipment in a sound booth caused the fire.

West Routt Fire Protection District firefighters were called at about 5 p.m. to a report of smoke coming from the church.

No one was in the church at the time of the fire.

Assistant Chief Trevor Guire said more than a dozen Hayden firefighters responded.

“We were able to knock down a fire that had been burning for some time in the stairwell area,” Guire said.

The stairwell led to the basement, and Guire said there was thick, black smoke along with a lot of heat.

The fire extended to about 10 feet by 10 feet through the stairwell, and the main floor was damaged.

It took firefighters just a couple minutes to knock down the fire.

“We had plenty of manpower, which was wonderful,” Guire said.

There was heavy heat and smoke damage throughout the church.

The church is not habitable, and leaders were trying to find an alternate location for Sunday services.

“Praise God we are more than a building, although we are thankful to have a building,” Mission of Grace posted on their Facebook page. “And thank you for the outpouring of support and prayers.”

Other agencies that helped with the fire included the Hayden Police Department, Routt County Sheriff’s Office, Atmos Energy, Town of Hayden and Yampa Valley Electric Association.

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

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


See more