Briar Rose house fire still under investigation |

Briar Rose house fire still under investigation

by Jane Stebbins

BRECKENRIDGE – Maybe they spoke too soon.

Breckenridge planning commissioners debated last week how much development should be allowed to take place on an empty lot on Briar Rose Lane. During the discussion, someone posed a hypothetical question: If an existing home on the street burned down, would the property owner be allowed to build a bigger home, or merely replace the one that burned down?

Now, planning commissioners will have to further ponder that question after a Sunday night fire partially destroyed a house on the street. Fire investigation teams have yet to determine the cause.

The fire was spotted by a Breckenridge police officer who was leaving the jail and saw a plume of smoke in the neighborhood. He called emergency dispatchers to see if anyone had reported a house fire, then drove to the house to investigate. Upon his arrival, flames already were shooting through the north side of the house.

The house is owned by local realtor Tony Carosa, who was in Aruba with his family.

The fire, which was visible from the Dillon Dam Road that night, appears to have started in the north side of the garage, said Kim O’Brien, public information officer for the Red, White and Blue Fire Department in Breckenridge. Two ladder trucks, three engines, and 25 firefighters from Red, White and Blue and the Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue battled the fire, which was burning through the three stories on the north side of the house.

O’Brien said the fire was extinguished quickly, but the construction of the house, including hollow support beams from floor to ceiling, helped the fire spread to the rest of the house.

As in other recent fires, O’Brien cited attentive citizens as the main reason the fire didn’t spread to neighboring homes or the forest above.

“We were very, very lucky,” she said. “With the small caring community that we have and the quick-thinking people we have, we can’t ask for a better setup.”

Jane Stebbins can be reached at 668-3998 ext. 228 or

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