North Routt explosion left hole in the ground across from historic cabins
Responders also doused a structure fire in Hayden this week
North Routt Fire Protection and the Routt County Sheriff’s Office responded to reports of an explosion shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 8, at the corner of Routt County Road 129 and Forest Service Road 490.
Little remained of the unoccupied 3,000-square-foot building across from the Historic Cabins at Columbine when first-responders got there, according to Paul Rose, a North Routt firefighter.
“What the running theory is, a neighbor saw the roof slide the day prior, and we’re thinking that might have hit one of the propane pipes that was alongside the propane meter that was alongside the house and probably pumped the house full of propane all night, and then some sort of ignition kicked on in the morning and the whole thing went up,” he said.
Rose wasn’t on scene but referenced the report and attached pictures, which the district did not pass along to the Steamboat Pilot & Today.
The explosion reportedly left a 10- to 15-foot hole in the ground where the structure was, and blew out windows on a nearby building. Nearby trees caught fire as well.
Around 4 p.m. Thursday, March 9, the West Routt Fire Protection District responded to an agricultural building fire north of Hayden.
Responders encountered some difficulty accessing the building on Scenic Drive off of County Road 76 with the wind and snow.
“We ended up pulling about 350 feet of 3-inch hose through probably knee-deep snow down to the barn to make an attack on that,” according to West Routt Chief Trevor Guire.
“We knew what we were up against, so we had a plan in place when we got on scene,” he continued. “I don’t think it delayed our water delivery very much at all — maybe a minute.”
The fire originated in an unoccupied apartment of the agricultural barn on the property, Guire said, and only about 25% of the building was affected, although some nearby chickens were disrupted. Guire suspects the flames started from an electrical issue.
“That was the only heat source in the area of most damage,” Guire said. “Beyond that, I can’t really say.”
Shelby Reardon is the assistant editor at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach her, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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