RIDGWAY, Sept. 18, 6:29 a.m. – The Galloping Goose Bakery & Cafe in Ridgway, remodeled just two years ago and taken over by new owners a mere five months ago, was consumed by fire on Friday afternoon. The blaze brought a full contingency of firefighters from both Ridgway and Ouray.
Montrose dispatch received a 911 call at 1:37 p.m. reporting smoke coming from the rear of the bakery located at
Hwy. 550 was closed from 3-6:30 p.m. to allow firefighters access to a hydrant on the opposite side of the highway, forcing many drivers to detour around County Road 24 north of town to Colorado Hwy. 62 on the west end.
It took firefighters nearly four hours to access the fire’s source under a double-roof on the bakery over the northern portion of the building. A backhoe was eventually used to rip off the roof. The fire consumed the bakery and upstairs office before finally being extinguished around 6 p.m.
The fire left a gaping hole in the back of the bakery portion of the building, and heavy smoke and water damage occurred on the restaurant side.
Only a handful of employees and patrons were inside the building when the fire started, as the eatery was prepping for its daily 2 p.m. closing time. There were no injuries and the fire did not spread to the adjacent building to the north.
The restaurant portion of the Goose is salvageable, according to Ridgway Marshal D.J. Scott, but it won’t be able to reopen its doors for normal operation for an estimated three to three-and-half months. In the meantime, the bakery has found a temporary home at the True Grit Café, co-owned by Tammee Tuttle, former Galloping Goose co-owner.
“Our goal was to find a way she can keep her employees and keep her money flow for her business so when she does re-open, she has something to re-open with,” said Tuttle, who sold the Galloping Goose to Lisa Lockhart and her husband, Charles, and her mother, Shirley Slater, in April.
The Galloping Goose’s breakfast will be available at the True Grit seven days a week, starting today, 6-10 a.m.
“The restaurant looks good,” said Scott, whose wife, Krista, was working at the Goose when the fire started. “It’s not burnt. It’s just looks dirty and wet.”
“If you mop the floor, the dining room and the kitchen side is fine,” Tuttle said. “The other side, the bakery, has major issues.”
Scott said Ridgway Fire Chief Dan Bartashius had yet to determine the cause of the fire as of Monday morning, but preliminary findings indicate it was electrical in nature.
Both the Ridgway and Ouray fire crews made numerous rotating shifts from the east and west (front/back) sides of the structure, with the Ridgway crew concentrating on the rear of the building at the northwest corner, where flames appeared about 20 minutes after the first page went out.
Fatigued fire crews received assistance on scene by the Ridgway Ambulance’s Andy Horgan and Josh Freed and
Drinking water for the firefighters was provided by the Mountain Market in Ridgway and Ducketts Grocery in Ouray, while the True Grit provided dinner for the crews on scene.
The building is owned by Bill and Carol Lawler.
This was the first structure fire in Ridgway since last summer, when a trailer was engulfed in the 900 block of