Cause now known for last week’s Broken Arrow Motel fire
October 12, 2017
A majority of the Broken Arrow Motel in Granby was decimated in a blaze late last week, the cause of which is now known by investigators.
Evidence at the scene suggested the fire began in room No. 15, Leo Piechocki, investigator sergeant with the Grand County Sheriff's Office, told Sky-Hi News on Thursday.
Piechocki said a cardboard box filled with ceramic tile had been left resting against a baseboard heater in the room, which ignited the fire. Flames then spread across the room, catching nearby clothing on fire and growing from there, Piechocki said.
The fire was ruled as unintentional, he added.
Schelly Olson of the Grand Fire Department, who was on scene last week to assist crews with the fire, said it was Granby's largest structural fire this year.
"We don't get a lot of fires," she explained.
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While a couple of the units were completely gutted for crews to seek out hot spots that could potentially linger, the structure was still standing.
At least one room at the west end of the motel had already been destroyed by a fire last year, according to Olson who pointed out that section was now boarded up and not being used.
Piechocki said that fire was also unintentional, the cause being a mattress that had been left in front of a baseboard heating unit.
Resting out front of the motel room after the fire was a motorcycle that had been destroyed by the fire; its front tire melted away from the rim.
Olson said a pick-up truck had been parked in front of that room, near the central point of the fire, forcing firefighters to break its window and roll the truck away onto the nearby lawn so crews could begin battling the fire.
The fire, according to Olson, spread quickly into the shared attic space of the rest of the motel. The rooms that weren't destroyed by flames were affected by severe smoke damage.