Officials: Cause given in Kremmling apartment fire
August 10, 2017
A cause for last week's fire that torn through a Kremmling apartment building that displaced six individuals has been determined.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation found that the fire originated in the middle apartment, after old wiring behind either the stove or refrigerator ignited a buildup of debris behind the appliances.
The Kremmling Fire Department responded to the fire behind the Grand Old West Restaurant at around 4 p.m. last Wednesday. Fourteen firefighters from the volunteer force arrived to fight the blaze.
"Being a volunteer agency the first question we have to ask ourselves in who's coming based on the time of the day and the day of the week," said Brady Maphis, firefighter technician for Kremmling Fire Department. "Seeing as it was a Wednesday in the afternoon a lot of folks are still at work, so we had a pretty good indication that we were going to be shorthanded."
After a quick lap around the structure to size up the fire, firefighters established a water supply and began suppressing the flames. Within an hour they were able to temper the fire. They then began to tear away the siding and the roof of the building to look for interior flames hidden by rubble.
"That's probably the hardest part of the job is to make sure you find all the hidden fire," said Maphis. "In the past the Kremmling Fire Department had been called back to structure fires because they rekindled later. So with something like this we're focused on making sure it's all the way out."
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The firefighters hung around for hours after containing the fire to make sure that it was completely out. They left around 10 p.m., but returned at midnight with heat detecting instruments to make sure the area was still cold.
The Kremmling Police Department began the investigation into the fire, but handed it off to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation the next day.