Former Silverthorne mayor Warren Alloway dies in house fire
January 4, 2015
The Summit County Coroner's Office confirmed that the victim of a Friday-afternoon house fire in Silverthorne, 81-year-old Warren Alloway, died shortly after he was brought to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center. The cause of death has not been determined. Alloway was a resident of Silverthorne for nearly 60 years and was the town's first full-time mayor, between 1968 and 1976.
Alloway was evacuated from the building and transported to Summit Medical Center, where he died at 2 p.m. The cause of the fire is unknown. The building is still intact, but interior smoke and fire damage is clearly visible from outside.
Around 1 p.m., authorities received a report of smoke coming from a house at 914 Blue River Parkway. Silverthorne police officers arrived 10 minutes after the call. At the time, smoke was billowing from windows on all sides of the one-level home, and the backside of the building was charred by flames coming from the blaze inside.
The first engine from Lake Dillon Fire arrived shortly after the police. Before responding, both departments suspected that at least one person was in the home.
The first firefighting team to enter the building found Alloway unconscious. The team removed him from the building and immediately began performing CPR. He was then transported to Summit Medical Center. No other people or animals were found in the home.
"These guys did an incredible initial attack to get the victim out," said Jeff Berino, the deputy chief with Lake Dillon Fire. "They did an incredible job, especially with poor access to the building and lots of snow around."
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The building sits on a plot of several acres. No other buildings were threatened by the blaze. Dave Parmley, the station chief with Lake Dillon Fire, estimates the home was built in the 1970s and said the old, mostly wooden structure might have caused the fire to grow rapidly. Just how quickly it spread won't be determined until investigators enter the building.
"Fires like this are not as frequent (in Summit County), but when we do have them they can be more challenging and more severe," said Parmley, who was at the scene with Berino. "We are constantly battling with furnishing and the amount of things people now put in their homes."
By 2:30 p.m., the fire was completely contained.
Lake Dillon Fire dispatched three fire engines to the scene, and those were joined by one engine from Copper Mountain Fire Department and another from Red, White and Blue Fire Protection District in Breckenridge. All told, roughly 30 firefighters responded to the scene, including Parmley, Berino and a battalion chief.
Summit County resident Bill Linfield was driving along Blue River Parkway around 1:30 p.m. when he noticed the fire engines and smoke.
"I knew it was serious when I saw Copper Mountain Fire come in," said Linfield, who was standing on the street taking photos as firefighters waited for smoke to clear. "That's when you knew whatever was going on was more than a little fire."
Linfield didn't see any flames at the scene when he arrived, but he claims the pillar of smoke was at least 200 feet high. It drifted south toward Lake Dillon before finally dispersing over Interstate 70.
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