Fire, explosion hit Durango businesses; 7 firefighters hurt
February 22, 2008
DURANGO – An explosion blew out the fronts of three businesses after a fire in a downtown Durango restaurant.Durango Fire and Rescue District spokesman Dave Abercrombie said seven firefighters were taken to a hospital, but none of them have life threatening injuries.The fire was reported at 1:40 p.m. Friday.Emergency officials said the fire had been contained by 6 p.m.Smoke and flames were visible on the roof of the Seasons Restaurant. The front of the Seasons, the Le Rendevous Restaurant and the shop Half-Price Tees blew out about 40 minutes later.Several news outlets reported that at least one firefighter was blown into the air and landed on the edge of the restaurant’s roof.”We started to set up ladder and aerial devices,” Abercrombie told The Denver Post. “We had a crew on the roof of Le Rendevous – between six and seven firemen – when it exploded.”Tom Barnes, who witnessed the explosion from a roof nearby told The Durango Herald, “It looked like the whole roof of Le Rendezvous rose up. The lead guy at the hose went pinwheeling. He disappeared into the smoke and we couldn’t see him.”The fire apparently started in the kitchen of the restaurant and spread to adjacent businesses.Calls to Durango Fire and Rescue District were not immediately returned to the Associated Press.