RIFLE — Extremely high winds late Sunday afternoon were of no help to firefighters when a wood and stone home at 895 County Road 223 (Peterson Lane) caught fire and burned to the ground.
The owners of the home, Marc and Stephanie Gube, were at work in Silt at the time when they received a call from a neighbor who said the porch was on fire, according to Jennifer Rose, a friend of the family.
“They went up there, and a sheriff’s deputy was already there but would not allow them into the house to try and find their cats because it was too unsafe,” Rose said. “Fortunately, they had their dog with them.”
One vehicle was lost in the blaze, and firefighters were able to save the other one, Rose said.
The sheriff’s office received the initial call at 4:44 p.m., according to Maria Piña, a spokesperson for the department.
The fire department hauled water to the scene, but the windy conditions hindered their efforts.
According to the National Weather Service, wind gusts in Rifle reached up to 64 mph around 7 p.m.
“It was a wind-driven fire,” Piña said.
Marc Gube is a woodworker, and the house had lots of custom woodworking, Rose said.
“They have nothing except the clothes on their back,” she said. “They couldn’t believe it — they were devastated. It was like it was a bad dream.”
Rose, who had gone to the house to be with her friends, left when the Red Cross showed up.
“There was nothing left that could be done,” she said.
The house is deemed a total loss, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.