Reconstruction starts on Tree Haus home


— The owner of a house in the Tree Haus subdivision that caught fire June 3 plans to rebuild it right away.

Gary Krueger said Thursday that insurance officials investigated the fire this week. He wouldn't give a dollar amount of the damage, but he said it was "a big loss." Most of the damage to the 2,400-square-foot house was to the south-side wall, from the roof through three floors to the garage.

A Fox Construction company truck and a large dumpster were at the house Thursday and crews were tearing down the charred portion.

Krueger said he was touched by the community's assistance, especially the response of Steamboat firefighters.

"These guys saved 98 percent of my personal property my paintings and most of my furniture," Krueger said. "They moved everything in the middle of the room and covered it with tarps to prevent water damage."

Krueger said neighbors such as Steve Elkins made sure no one was inside the house and tried to fight the fire with garden hoses.

"Steve jumped over and tried to use hoses, but the fire started right where my spigot is, so no one could get to it," Krueger said.

Krueger and his wife, Nancy, bought the house on William William Road in 1998. He said they've been property owners in the Steamboat area since 1992 and visit several times a year. The Kruegers live in San Diego, Calif., and local resident Bill Pyle looks after the house for them between visits.

"Bill was there that day and there was nothing wrong with the house," Krueger said.

Sheriff's investigator Rachelle Redmond said the cause of the fire has not been determined yet. She said she has several more people to interview and she is waiting on lab results to come back on items collected from the scene.

To reach Michelle Bales call 871-4208 or e-mail


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