The early morning blaze on the southeast corner of Spruce St. and Galena Ave. was brought under control within about an hour of the first response. The two-story home was a total loss.
The three tenants believed to live in the five-bedroom house were not home at the time of the fire.
In an unrelated incident, one of the three tenants, Mark Miller, had been airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital, in Grand Junction, two days earlier, on Saturday, following a crash on Imogene Pass.
He is reportedly in critical condition.
The fire broke out at approximately the same time a temporary fire restriction on burning in the unincorporated areas of San Miguel County went into effect.
“Extreme winds, warm temperatures and the significant lack of rain have created an extremely hazardous environment,” according to the press release issued by the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office. “Low humidity and dry vegetation has contributed to the fuel load, making for an even more dangerous situation.”
When responders arrived, hoses were turned on the structure east of the fire. “We were all going, ‘Don’t they know where the fire is?’” said one eyewitness. “ ‘They’re spraying the wrong house.’
“But they didn’t want it to spread. They did a really good job of keeping it from spreading.”