Monday, December 23, 2002
Steamboat Springs Authorities have determined that no foul play was involved in a fire that destroyed a single family residence in Steamboat Springs Dec. 15.
"At this time and with the information available, there is no indication of malicious intent or incendiary devices for this fire," said Scott Andre, fire inspector for the city of Steamboat Springs.
The blaze was out of control when firefighters from the Steamboat Springs Fire Department arrived at the residence at 2915 Ridge Road.
No one was hurt and no one was living in the house. The owners, Bill and Toni Thomson of Cheyenne, Wyo., were remodeling the house, which had been their second home for 17 years.
The fire began on the main level of the residence, directly under the garage in an area of new construction, Andre said.
Investigators determined a construction heater used to cure a concrete garage floor started the fire. The heater stood near the south end of the room approximately 12 to 14 feet from the west wall and 5 to 10 feet north of the temporary plastic wall to the south.
Construction heaters have caused house fires in the past, Andre said.
Investigators believe wind that evening either blew combustible material into the heater or knocked the heater over and onto a combustible floor material.
A neighbor reported the fire at 7:30 p.m. Firefighters wrapped up their efforts around 11:30 p.m. when they felt it was safe to leave.
The blaze was not reported for some time because its point of origin allowed it to move undetected through the house, Andre said.
The fire spread quickly because of the stage of construction on the house, he added.
Investigators from the city and insurance companies wrapped up their investigation last week.
The investigation was slowed because inspectors had to give the fire time to burn out and had extensive debris to remove.
More lab tests by investigators from the insurance companies are pending.