Firefighters say a blaze at the Dillon Valley West condominiums that caused an estimated $3,000 in damage and at least a dozen people to be evacuated early Monday was set intentionally and may not be the first fire the arsonist or arsonists has started in the area.
“During the course of this investigation we did find some evidence of some other fires that were attempted in the same area,” Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue deputy chief Jeff Berino said. “Someone’s experimenting.”
Fire officials say they know how the fire was started and they do have some suspects, but declined to release any information on either.
The blaze was called in just after 2 a.m. Monday, and the first crews on scene found flames emanating from the porch of an unoccupied ground-floor unit. Law enforcement officials assisted in evacuating six other apartments in the building as firefighters used a “blitz” attack to put out the fire.
No one was injured.
Evacuated residents were allowed to return to their units after two hours.
“The quick actions of the first arriving engine limited damages to just under $3,000,” Berino stated in a news release.
Firefighters used a quick deployment hand line from the truck and water carried on board to extinguish the fire.
Officials say the blaze and the possibility of someone starting other fires in the area is particularly concerning in Dillon Valley, an older residential neighborhood.
“There’re some old buildings and those things would go up quickly,” Berino said. “Dillon Valley worries us, there’re a lot of people living in those buildings and they’re older construction.”
Berino and fellow fire investigator Kelly Greene are following leads on the case.
Anyone with any information regarding the condominium fires or other blazes in the area is asked to contact Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue at (970) 262-5600 or the Summit County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 453-2232.