Fire destroys Tree Haus home


— A two-story home on Tree Haus Drive burned to the ground late Monday night while firefighters struggled to reach it.

Hampered by slick, snow-covered roads, the Steamboat Springs Fire Department could not reach the house with fire trucks and instead used an ambulance to shuttle crews and equipment to the scene.

The fire was reported about 10:30 p.m. When crews reached the house at 36853 Tree Haus Drive, it was fully engulfed in flame, but no one was inside, Fire Chief Bob Struble said.

An aerial ladder truck from the Mountain Fire Station was the first to respond to the scene. The truck made it only a third of the way up Tree Haus Drive toward the home before stopping, Struble said. A second truck to respond, an engine from the downtown fire station, slid off Tree Haus Drive.

A tow truck was called to help pull the engine out of the snow, but was not needed, Struble said.

City plows were called to plow Tree Haus' steep, narrow and winding roads. The Tree Haus subdivision had a private plowing company, Struble said.

The ten firefighters who reached the home had only a single, low-pressure hose to fight the flames.

The four-bedroom home could be seen burning from U.S. Highway 40 and flames leaped as high as the surrounding aspen trees.

By midnight Tuesday, the structure of the house had collapsed but the foundation and some standing timbers continued to burn.

Firefighters were able to save a detached garage next to the home.

The Routt County Assessors Web site shows the 3,600-square-foot home is owned by the Evergreen Foundation and has an assessed value of about $650,000. Jean and Jeffery Wolf are listed as living in the home.

A neighbor is believed to have reported the fire at about 10:30 p.m. The Tree Haus neighborhood is heavily wooded and homes are built fairly close to each other.

Struble said the fire was well-contained and not in danger of spreading to other homes.

The remains of the house were still smoldering early Tuesday morning and was expected to burn for a few more hours.


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