Fire engulfs downtown Steamboat garage |

Fire engulfs downtown Steamboat garage

Members of Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue battle a blaze Wednesday morning on Deerfoot Avenue in downtown Steamboat Springs. All three occupants of the house were able to escape along with their four dogs.

— No one was hurt in a fire Wednesday morning that destroyed a garage attached to a home in downtown Steamboat Springs.

The fire on Deerfoot Avenue was reported at about 10:30 a.m.

Margrit Kipfer was inside the house with her husband, Chris, daughter Susan and four dogs.

"I went and looked out the window and saw smoke coming out of air vents," Kipfer said.

She said she yelled to her husband and daughter that she saw smoke and opened the door to the garage.

"The whole garage was filled with smoke," Kipfer said.

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She then grabbed two of her dogs and left the house into the fenced side yard.

"There was this nice man that came from some place that helped me climb the fence with the dogs," Kipfer said.

According to a new release, Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighters responded to the blaze within seven minutes and found the three-car garage engulfed in flames.

Kipfer said there were two cars in the garage and she suspected that one of the cars may have caused the fire.

"We think there was a short in one of the cars because we've been having problems with that one," she said.

The family has lived in the home for nine years.

Steamboat Fire Chief Ron Lindroth said the fire was controlled in less than 30 minutes and crews remained for two hours to extinguish the fire, the cause of which is under investigation. Three fire engines, a firetruck, two ambulances, three command staff and 17 firefighters responded to the incident. West Routt Fire Protection District provided coverage for the city during the incident.

"Having 10 volunteer and off-duty firefighters available today to respond quickly contributed to saving the residence," Lindroth said. "Had the fire progressed unchecked, just several minutes more may have resulted in a total loss. A fire doubles in size every minute, thus early reporting and quick response is critical to save lives and property."

The garage and everything inside of it, including the two cars, were destroyed. Lindroth said there was minimal smoke damage to the house.

Steamboat Fire Rescue estimated there was $100,000 in damage and $400,000 worth of property saved.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email

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