Early morning fire wind-driven
by Bill Knowles
TRINIDAD — An early morning house fire destroyed three homes in north Trinidad Wednesday morning in the 1500 block of Buena Vista.
Initial reports from the scene indicated there were no injuries associated with the fire, and the cause remains under investigation mid-week.
One house was completely destroyed with two others losing roofs and suffering extreme structural damage while other structures in the area were threatened from blowing ash in the high winds moving through the area at approximately 4 am Wednesday morning when the first call reporting the blaze came into the 911 dispatch center.
Neighbors reported hearing a series of booms before seeing flames engulfing an abandoned house. The house was slated for demolition by the city with work crews removing window glass and pipes over the past few weeks in preparation for the demolition.
As the flames engulfed the first house, winds blew sparks and ash onto the roof and structure of the house just east of it catching it on fire. Debbi Bull who lives with her husband in the third house just east of the second house was awake at four in the morning and was pouring coffee when she spotted the flames engulfing the roof of the second house.
She ran to the second house and was able to awaken the resident and help him evacuate the burning building. That was when she spotted flames burning the roof of her house. She went back to her house and was able to evacuate her husband, who is recovering from a stroke, but she was unable to return to retrieve her two cats.
“We moved here from California seven years ago and now we’ve lost everything, everything we got in our whole life,”she said.
A third neighbor was awakened by the sound of the explosions at 4:30 a.m. and turned in the second call when she spotted the orange flames engulfing the three houses.
Firefighters from Trinidad, Hoehne, Spanish Peaks Fire Protection District, and a crew from Fort Carson who were stationed at Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site, all responded. Trinidad ambulance and police officers were also present. Several blocks in the immediate area of the conflagration were blocked by emergency equipment.
The house which initially caught fire and started the chain of events, was abandoned. Neighbors living in the area said that it was a drug house and squatters had been spotted inside of it in the past.