Clues pointing toward arson
FRISCO – Summit County Fire Investigation Team members have ruled out all accidental causes in a fire that destroyed a $1 million fourplex on Creekside Drive in Frisco early Tuesday morning.
“We have ruled out everything but a human-caused fire,” said Lake Dillon Fire Department Assistant Chief Jeff Berino, who spent more than 24 consecutive hours sifting through the charred remains of the wooden structure. “There is no accident that could have occurred with the information we have.”
Investigators have ruled out the possibility that a “kegolator,” a small refrigeration unit designed to hold a keg of beer, started the fire. The four people renting Unit B had brought the kegolator to the home and placed it on the deck the night before but hadn’t yet plugged it in.
They have also eliminated a charcoal barbecue unit from the list of potential heat sources.
Now, they’re waiting for laboratory results of materials taken from the charred deck to determine if the fire was set on purpose – if there was malicious intent. Then, they have to find a perpetrator and charge him or her with the crime. Only then, can they say the fire was arson, Berino said.
“The investigation isn’t complete enough to determine if there was malicious intent,” he said. “That’s what describes arson.”
Frisco police, who are still interviewing people, have no suspects in the incident so far, Berino said.
Sometimes, dogs trained to identify such things as gasoline are brought to fire scenes to determine if flammables were used to start the fire. However, a can of charcoal lighter fluid on the deck melted, Berino said, and the presence of that fluid would only confuse a dog.
The fire, which left 11 people homeless, started on the deck of Unit B. One of the renters in that unit woke to see flames at her second-story window and woke up her three roommates and another woman who was staying there. She then went next door to alert a family of six. The other two units were not occupied at the time.
The fire burned through the roof and deeply charred the front of the structure. The occupants in Unit B lost everything – wallets, snowboard equipment, clothing and electronics, said Megan Siddall, who spent the night there that evening. The four renters are currently staying at Siddall’s house down the street.
The Morgan family next door, including four children aged 2 to 18, lost everything except some appliances.
How to Help:
Those wishing to help the Morgan family can call them at (970) 485-0967. Donations can be made to the “The Morgan Family Fund” at Wells Fargo Bank at 842 Summit Blvd. in Frisco; P.O. Box 4340, Frisco, CO 80443. Those wishing to help the four renters displaced by the fire can contact them at (970) 668-1053.
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