Oak Creek apartment burns | SteamboatToday.com

Oak Creek apartment burns

Susan Cunningham

A fire that started in an apartment building in downtown Oak Creek on Saturday night put itself out when it melted water pipes, releasing water to extinguish the flames.

“It got hot enough to melt the water pipes,” said Chuck Wisecup, fire chief for the Oak Creek Fire Protection District. “The water put the fire out.”

The fire started about 8:20 p.m. under the kitchen sink of an upper-level unit in Emma’s Apartments, 119 Moffat St. The apartment complex is a few blocks from the Oak Creek Fire Station.

Eight firefighters with three firetrucks from Yampa and nine firefighters with three firetrucks from Oak Creek responded to the fire.

Residents of one of the four apartments in the complex were evacuated from the building. The other residents were not at home at the time, Wisecup said.

The apartment that had the fire has been under renovation and was thought to be empty at the time of the fire, but Wisecup said investigators were looking into whether an illegal resident was living in the unit.

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After the fire was extinguished, firefighters worked to ventilate smoke from the building. At one point, light-colored rolling smoke was seen coming from under the building’s eaves.

There does not seem to be structural damage to the building, but the apartment below the fire had extensive water damage, Wisecup said.

The building’s drywall likely will be damaged from the water, he said, but how much damage was done is unknown.

“We won’t know until a few days,” he said.

Wisecup could not give the name of the building’s owner, but said the owner had bought the building about five days ago.

Fire investigators will conduct an investigation along with representatives from the complex owner’s insurance company, which probably will not take place until Monday. Until that time, firefighters will keep the building secure, Wisecup said.

— To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com