Shadow Mountain home lost; family, pets uninjured

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By Nicole Queen

A fire Sunday night destroyed a house on Shadow Mountain Drive in Conifer belonging to a family of six.

The family and their two German shepherds were uninjured. A firefighter was reported to have sustained minor injuries that did not require medical attention.

Jody Wagner, spokeswoman for the Elk Creek Fire Protection District, said there were conflicting reports on whether any family members were inside the home when the fire broke out.

Sunday night’s blaze was the third house fire to occur in the area in a week, with the first incident involving a trailer home in Bailey on Monday, Feb. 2, and the second on Friday, Feb. 6, only 2 miles from Sunday’s fire.

According to a news release from Wagner, Jefferson County dispatch alerted Elk Creek of the fire at 7:22 p.m.

A Jefferson County deputy was first to arrive on the scene and found the home engulfed in flames. Elk Creek arrived shortly after and determined there was not a threat to nearby homes and surrounding wildland.

Elk Creek called in Evergreen Fire/Rescue for mutual aid.

At 8:30 p.m., the release said, a water source was fully established at Shadow Mountain and Black Mountain. The flames were extinguished, and the departments ensured there was not a wildland threat.

Wagner said the cause of the fire had not been determined but is under investigation.

Wagner said she has been receiving phone calls from a local news station and concerned residents with questions as to whether the two fires on Shadow Mountain were caused by arson.

“We don’t have any reason to believe both homes were tied in the same incident,” Wagner said. “It’s just a terribly unfortunate accident. Between the two fires, investigation is ongoing, but there’s no reason to think it’s anything suspicious. We would let people know if there was any reason to be concerned.”

The family has been given assistance by the Jefferson County victim advocate.

Contact Nicole Queen at nicole@evergreenco.com

Suggestions from Jody Wagner, spokeswoman for Elk Creek Fire Protection District, to help prevent house fires:

• Be sure to have properly installed and operating smoke detectors.

• Make sure fires are not left unattended. If a fire source is used overnight, be sure it is fully and safely contained behind an enclosure.

• Dispose of all ashes properly. Often, “cold ashes” cause house fires. All ashes should be contained in a metal bucket with a metal lid away from the home and/or anything flammable. It’s best to dig a hole, put ashes in the hole and thoroughly wet and bury them.

• Create an environment that is easily workable for the fire department to protect the home. Clear trees near the home and store firewood away from the home.

• Have the chimney professionally cleaned, inspected and repaired if necessary annually.

• Use a licensed and experienced electrician for needed electrical work.

• Don’t overload outlets.

• Don’t place electrical cords around doorways and under rugs.

• Always dispose of oily rags in a fire-safe labeled can with a sealable lid. Keep paint, varnishes and other flammables sealed in airtight containers.

• Store gasoline in metal containers and don’t store near an open flame, heat sources or appliances.