Fire destroys attic of Old Town home

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A fire that started in or near a fireplace destroyed the attic of an Old Town home late Wednesday night.

Steamboat Springs Assistant Fire Chief Bob Struble said the fire had been burning for quite a while before the fire department arrived, but firefighters were able to put a quick stop to the fire before it spread farther.

The fire was reported at 11:11 p.m. According to Routt County Assessor's records, the home at 448 Eighth St. is owned by Robert and Landra White.

The man who lived in the home said he was working on his computer on the second floor, looked out his window and saw the reflection of the fire. He went outside to look and saw that the attic was on fire, Struble said.

Steamboat Springs Fire Mar--shall Jay Muhme said it appeared the fire started near the chimney area in the attic. A fire was burning in the second-floor fireplace at about the same time.

Muhme said he would not make an official ruling about the cause of fire until the insurance investigators arrived, but said the fire did not appear suspicious.

Struble said the fire stayed in the attic and around the fireplace. It had vented to the outside and started to travel up the fireplace exhaust. When the fire department arrived, Struble said a few flames were showing outside.

"We got a really good stop on it," Struble said.

The homeowners were in the process of remodeling the house, Struble said, noting there was not much furniture inside. The man was able to go back inside and protect the furniture he did have, Struble said. The attic sustained most of the damage in the fire.

"It is not destroyed. They will definitely need a new roof and got a bit of water damage," Struble said.

The biggest concern was making sure the fire would not rekindle in the insulation of the roof, Struble said. The fire department worked until about 3 a.m., pulling out the entire ceiling to make sure the fire was out.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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