Chimney fire causes damage

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A 1,600 square-foot Tree Haus home suffered moderate damage from a chimney fire that occurred early Saturday morning.

Assistant Steamboat Springs Fire Chief Bob Struble said the home had moderate fire damage to the living room and water damage to two bedrooms underneath the living room.

The fire was contained mostly to inside the chase of the fireplace, Struble said. The home, at 36894 Tree Haus, had a two-story, wood frame exhaust for the fireplace.

The fire started in the chimney. Fire Marshall Jay Muhme is investigating the cause of the fire.

The Routt County Assessor's Web site lists the single-family, two-story home as being built in 1979 and worth $300,000. The Josephine Rusbamen Revocable Trust out of Corpus Christi, Texas, owns the home, and a property management company manages it.

A family was vacationing for the Thanksgiving weekend and was evacuated. The group called the fire department after the house filled up with the smoke coming from the chimney. The guests, some of whom were asleep, all safely evacuated the house, and no one was injured.

The fire started at about 12:17 a.m. Saturday, and fire crews arrived just minutes after the call. Crews spent about four hours at the scene, Struble said, putting the fire out and cleaning up.

Two engines, a 75-foot Arial truck and about 14 firefighters responded to the fire.

A small amount of sheet rock was damaged in the living room. In the downstairs bedrooms, the closets were damaged from water. Carpeting also was damaged from water.

The fire was the first chimney fire the department fought this year. Chimney fires are not an uncommon occurrence, and Struble reminded homeowners who burn wood to make sure their chimneys are cleaned.

"It probably wouldn't hurt to have a certified chimney sweep check it out and make sure everything is in good shape before they turn it on for the winter," Struble said.

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