Child likely sparked deadly Christmas Eve house fire in Craig |

Child likely sparked deadly Christmas Eve house fire in Craig

Jim Patterson
Craig Press
Firefighters with Craig Fire Rescue battle the flames at a house fire that erupted Monday morning at 1921 Woodland Ave.
Doug Slaight/Craig Fire Rescue

CRAIG — A probe by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation into a Christmas Eve house fire that claimed the life of a 3-year-old boy is now complete, and investigators have determined the blaze was most likely sparked by the child himself.

According to Craig Police Department Capt. Bill Leonard, materials found in the boy’s bedroom — where the fire is believed to have originated — point to that conclusion.

“We believe the child started the fire himself by playing with fire,” Leonard said late Tuesday afternoon.

The blaze, which erupted about 10 a.m. Dec. 24 at 1921 Woodland Ave., in the Meadows subdivision, claimed the life of 3-year-old Lane Ernest Cullen, according to former Moffat County Coroner Kirk McKey.

Leonard added the child’s death was directly attributable to injuries he sustained during the fire.

Due to the CBI’s findings, Leonard said, the case is being forwarded to the 14th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney’s office for review and possible charges.

CPD, Craig Fire/Rescue, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, Memorial Regional Health, the Moffat County HazMat team, Yampa Valley Electric Association, and CBI investigators all responded to the scene.

Contact Jim Patterson at 970-875-1790 or

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