Breckenridge structure fire blamed on baseboard heater
Ryan Summerlin October 8, 2013
No one was injured this weekend during a structure fire at Hideaway condos in Breckenridge that fire officials say was caused by a baseboard heater.
At approximately 11 a.m. Saturday, firefighters from Red, White & Blue Fire District responded to a report of a structure fire on Atlantic Lode off Baldy Mountain Road.
Red, White and Blue deputy chief Jay Nelson said Sunday the call was initiated by a downstairs neighbor who believed he heard a rodent trapped in the ceiling. When the man went upstairs to talk to his neighbor about the noise, he noticed the windows were black from smoke and called 911, Nelson said.
Had the fire gone on any longer, Nelson said it could have spread into the downstairs unit and put all four units of the building at risk. Although the downstairs neighbor sustained some smoke damage to his unit, the majority of the damage was confined to the unit of origin.
“The quick actions of a neighbor prevented this fire from damaging the entire structure,” said Red, White and Blue chief Jim Keating in a news release.
Crews from Lake Dillon Fire District and Summit County Ambulance Service assisted Red, White & Blue Fire, bringing a total of 21 emergency responders to the scene, the release stated.
The origin of the fire was determined to be near a baseboard heater in the living room of the unit. The unit was not occupied at the time of the fire and preliminary investigations have determined home furnishings located in close proximity to the baseboard heater ignited because of the heat.
“Baseboard and portable heaters need room to operate properly,” Nelson said in the release. “There should be a minimum of three feet of clear operating space in front of a heater to prevent furniture, bedding and clothing from starting on fire.”
Fire officials do not suspect criminal activity and the scene has been closed pending an investigation by insurance adjustors.
There is no estimate for the damage to the unit at this time, but Nelson said Sunday it was extensive.
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