Fire ignites at Rabbit Ears Motel |

Fire ignites at Rabbit Ears Motel

Police officer suffered from smoke inhalation

Blythe Terrell

— A fire ignited Saturday evening at the Rabbit Ears Motel in downtown Steamboat Springs. A police officer who responded suffered smoke inhalation, but no one else was injured.

The fire started in Room 106, on the east side of the hotel, said Mark Clavenna, who was staying in the neighboring room, 105. He was alone in his room just before 8 p.m. when the fire alarm went off.

"The alarm went off, and I could smell some kind of electrical smell," he said.

Clavenna said he went into the bathroom and found smoke.

"It was definitely an electrical fire," he said. "There was no flame. It was just smoke at that point; it was smoldering."

He said there was no one in Room 106 at the time of the fire. Clavenna, who is from Houston and was in town to fly fish, said he helped shut off the power to the building.

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Steamboat Springs Police Department officers and Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue responded. One police officer was taken away in an ambulance at about 8:45 p.m. Police in the motel parking lot said they couldn't provide information about what happened, but Detective Nick Bosick later confirmed that the officer suffered from smoke inhalation. He declined to provide the officer’s name but said he would be OK.

Bosick, reached at about 10:15 p.m., referred questions to Fire Marshal Jay Muhme, who could not be reached by phone. Bosick did say the fire appeared to be electrical.

Eric Heyman, of Dallas, said he was walking past Rabbit Ears with his sons Adam and Andrew when they saw the police pull in. The Heymans stopped to observe the scene and saw the officer standing in the doorway of Room 106 with a hose. The officer eventually moved away from the door and appeared to be having trouble breathing, Eric Heyman said.

Firefighters also removed a dog in a kennel from Room 106 at Rabbit Ears. The dog appeared to be fine.

— To reach Blythe Terrell, call 871-4234 or e-mail

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