Barn fire closes US Highway 40 near Granby on Sunday
US Highway 40 between Granby and Hot Sulphur Springs was closed for more than a hour as firefighters responded to a structure fire around 5 p.m. on Sunday.
The structure was a storage barn located at mile marker 206 across from the turnoff to Drowsy Water Ranch.
Firefighters from Granby Fire Department and Hot Sulphur Springs-Parshall Fire Protection District responded to the incident.
The cause of the blaze is not yet known. Grand County Sheriff’s office is still investigating, which is standard procedure.
According to Brad White, chief of the Hot Sulphur Springs-Parshall Fire Protection District, when his crew members arrived the building was fully engulfed and flames had breached the roof.
“We setup to do structure protection for other buildings,” he said. “We got water on the fire right away but needed to keep heat off adjacent buildings, spots were hot on adjacent buildings.”
Granby Fire Department arrived on scene at 5:15 p.m. They had a full crew on one truck and two tankers with water. Another engine was set up at Granby West Business Park to fill tankers with water. There were 17 firefighters on scene from Granby Fire Department.
Jim Cautrell, division chief at Granby Fire Department, said firefighters approached the blaze with care because they were told by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office that there might be explosives and ammunition in the structure.
“You could hear rounds going off, so we had to approach the fire cautiously,” he said. “We had to keep a wall between us and the fire. Sometimes you just have to stay back.”
Randy and Lori Baumgardner lease the property where the fire started.
Lori Baumgardner, in a telephone call to the Sky-Hi News on Tuesday, said there were no explosives in the structure, though there might have been some .22 caliber ammunition and M-80s for scaring wildlife away from stock feed. She said firefighters might have heard cans of lubricant exploding in the structure.
White also stated there were a number of challenges such as diesel tanks close to the building, hay bales stored inside, and the walls were filled with saw dust for insulation.
Fire departments trucked water to the scene since there are no hydrants in the area.
The fire was extinguished in about 3.5 hours, although the hay continued to flare up. Granby fire left the scene at midnight and then went back out at 3 a.m., said Cautrell.
Other agencies that responded to the fire included Grand County EMS, Grand County Sheriff’s deputies, Granby Police, and Mountain Parks Electric, which disconnected power to the building.
There were people living in a home across the highway; however, they didn’t have to evacuate.
“We had so much working against us,” said Cautrell. “With the building having so much fire load it made it difficult to put out. All the firefighters did a great job. They are well trained and their training kicked in. They did what they were asked – above and beyond.”
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