Ignited fumes caused blast

Investigation points to lighter

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Candlelight vigil

A candlelight vigil for Samuel Hedemark and Christopher King Fuller is at 9 p.m. Friday in Oak Creek's Decker Park. The gathering begins at 8 p.m. People are asked to bring extra candles and memories or notes of the boys to be used during a joint memorial service at 10 a.m. Saturday at the First Baptist Church in Yampa.

— Police said sparks from a cigarette lighter likely ignited rising fumes from an oil storage tank, sparking an explosion that killed two South Routt teenagers Saturday night.

Rio Blanco County Undersheriff Michael Joos said investigators confirmed that the cause of the explosion that killed Sam Hedemark, 17, of Phippsburg and Christopher King Fuller, 19, of Yampa, likely was the result of one of the boys lighting a cigarette as they were jumping on top of the 20-foot oil tank at a well site near Chapman Reservoir in northern Rio Blanco County. Investigators with the Rio Blanco County Sheriff's Office, Colorado Bureau of Investigation arson team and Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission worked on the case.

"We don't know that that is exactly what happened, but we've been able to confirm that one of the boys was a smoker and had cigarettes in his pocket at the time of the explosion," Joos said Wednesday night. "The lighter that was found was not in his pocket and was found near the body."

Both boys were blown about 400 feet from the explosion site, he said.

"It is believed that one of the boys had the lighter in his hand at the time of the explosion," he said.

Joos said a nearby bonfire at the well site did not contribute to the explosion.

The heat and force from the first oil tank explosion caused some damage to another oil tank in the area, Joos said. The first oil tank contained about 166 barrels of oil and was only half-full. The tank had a valve on the top that allows vapors to rise as pressure inside the tank builds. The second tank contained about 20 barrels of oil, he said.

Jumping on the tank could have increased the amount of vapor that was being released through the valve, he said.

Joos said the explosion still is under investigation, and that it could be weeks before charges, if any, are determined.

Both teens had alcohol and traces of marijuana in their systems at the time of the explosion. Finding out who provided the teens with alcohol at the party that included teenagers and young adults has been part of the interview process, he said.

Comments

cargo 6 years, 10 months ago

The funeral service that is in today's paper is incorrect (noone's fault) Below is the set schedule.

Combined Services for Sam Hedemark & Chris Fuller 9:00 am - 10:45 am - Open Visitation First Baptist Church of Yampa 143 Main Street in Yampa11:00 am - noon - Church Memorial Service Family respectfully request that the church memorial service be for family only Noon - Graveside services - everyone welcome Immediately following graveside service a public memorial will be held at the South Routt Elemerntary School gym. There will be a pot luck lunch in the field next to the grade school following the public service.

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cargo 6 years, 10 months ago

Donations can be made is Sam or Chris's name at the First National Bank of the Rockies to the South Routt Youth Fund. The fund has been set up as a memorial to the boys.

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katrinkakelly 6 years, 10 months ago

I will donate to the South Routt Youth Fund and hope that it will continue for years to come.

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lindaanddan 6 years, 10 months ago

cargo, Thanks for your help with the family's ,any word on table's and chairs for potluck ??? How are we to keep hot food hot and cold food cold(maybe use crock pots ,or leave your cold stuff in a cooler in your car till it's time ??? Linda

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cargo 6 years, 10 months ago

Linda..The last I heard they were going to see if Karrie's catering would supply tables & chairs. Maybe we should all bring power cords, just in case. Thanks much!

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candylane 6 years, 10 months ago

Cargo, if you need them, there are 3 tables that belong to the OCLDC at the Colorado that you can borrow. Give me a call if you need anything. I wish you and all yours, enough.

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lindaanddan 6 years, 10 months ago

cargo , I'll bring cords & power strips . Made a huge pot of spagettti & suace ( Kay & Dougs family favorite ...if some one wants to go off that ...ya know garlic tst , salad ???

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lindaanddan 6 years, 10 months ago

cargo, P.S. I have all the plastic cups ,plates, forks, spoons & napkins ,all donated by Penny's dinner & Select Super trash bags anyone ??? linda

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cargo 6 years, 10 months ago

lindaanddan & candylane- Thanks. It would be good if you both brought that stuff. Rather have it and not need it than not have it and need it bad. Thanks again

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whyquestion 6 years, 10 months ago

who is in charge of the south routt youth fund money? what will this money be used for?who can one talk to about this program?

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lindaanddan 6 years, 10 months ago

Cargo, so hot stuff in crock pots , cold stuff put in coolers on ice . any word on tables & chairs ??? Mike Johnson (deidra) he is the master of "THE MASON " lodge of yampa might be able to get tables & chairs. ??? give me a call 736-8409 linda Be up for a while been havin MOJITO"S my new summer drink . be up for an hour or so .

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innovated 6 years, 9 months ago

God Bless all of you for arrangements made for the families and friends to gather and break bread. Oak Creek has always been a true village especially through this horrible tragedy. If there is anything positive to come out of this, let us learn to treat everyone with respect, kindness and love anticipating that it could be the last day of life.

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