Sheriff’s Office waiting for arson analysis | SteamboatToday.com

Sheriff’s Office waiting for arson analysis

Alexis DeLaCruz

A suspected arson fire that destroyed an office trailer at a firefighter training facility June 21 remains under investigation.

Routt County Undersheriff Dan Taylor said several people with possible connections to the fire have been contacted and interviewed but that authorities are waiting for analysis results of evidence taken from the scene before they make any decisions.

“We hope to have something by the end of the week, but you never know,” Taylor said.

The Sheriff’s Office has identified several suspects in the investigation, said Sgt. Kurtis Luster, who is in charge of the investigation.

The fire was reported at 12:19 a.m. at the West Routt Fire Protection District’s training facility on Routt County Road 53, about 1.5 miles south of U.S. Highway 40. A Seneca Coal Mine employee who was driving home from work spotted the blaze.

The trailer that burned was used as an office and classroom by the West Routt Fire Department and was used in conjunction with a specially designed metal “burn building” located on the same property.

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The burn building, where firefighters take part in live-fire and ropes trainings, was not damaged in the fire.

Taylor said there is evidence that accelerants were used in the fire. Accelerants are substances such as gas or diesel fuel that help start a fire and keep it burning.

West Routt Fire Protection District Chief Bryan Rickman said that when firefighters arrived, there were flames coming out of the windows and doors. It took about 15 minutes to put out the fire because of the ample water supply that was available on the premises, he said.

A ropes training course had been taught the night before the fire, and Rickman said the fire must have begun after 9:30 p.m., when firefighters left the building. Nothing was suspicious about the trailer or the premises when firefighters left, he said.

Several couches and chairs that were outside the trailer also were destroyed in the fire.

Rickman estimated that the trailer was worth $5,000.

Taylor said they are hopeful to reach a conclusion about the fire in the near future.

— To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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