Friday’s condo fire an accident |

Friday’s condo fire an accident

RYAN SLABAUGHsummit daily news
Summit Daily/Reid Williams Unidentified firefighters on the roof of the Deck Gore Range Condominiums in Wildernest Friday used chainsaws and prybars to vent the fire burning in the space below.

WILDERNEST – The two-alarm fire Friday night that destroyed six condominiums was an accident, said Jeff Berino, assistant fire chief for Lake Dillon Fire Rescue.”There was no suspected criminal activity,” Berino explained. “Preliminary, and I mean to stress preliminary, it seems like it was caused by welding operations in the west stairway.”

The damage from the fire was estimated at more than $500,000, Berino said.Two dogs perished in the fire, but a cat was found from the upstairs after the fire was put out.

All four Summit County fire departments responded to the fire. A total of 37 firefighters reported to the scene, including four engines, two ladder trucks, one rescue squad and one ambulance. One firefighter did suffer a minor back strain.After responding to the call, local firefighters not only fought the primary fire in the Deck Gore Range Condominium complex, but also fought to keep the neighboring building beside the fire from catching.

“We were fortunate we had a road on two sides and a driveway on another,” Berino said. “We weren’t right against the forest, which would have presented a whole different kind of challenge.”For those who lost a home, the Red Cross has helping with places to stay, along with Wildernest Property management officials, who have helped their residents relocate.- Ryan Slabaugh

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