Fire smokes out shoppers at Safeway for night

Staff Report

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – A small fire in the Safeway grocery store men’s restroom forced an evacuation Monday night, but damage was minimal and there were no injuries.

Arson is suspected as the cause.

“Safeway employees did a good job of evacuating the area,” said Glenwood Springs Fire Department spokesperson Peter Bradshaw.

Bradshaw estimated the damage at $5,000 to $10,000, and an investigation is under way.

“The police department and fire department are working closely on this,” Bradshaw said.

The fire department was dispatched to Safeway, located at 2001 Grand Ave., at 9:28 p.m. A store employee met the first arriving engine and directed firefighters to the rear of the building in the men’s restroom area.

“The first crews found light smoke throughout the building, and thick black smoke in the exit hallway next to the restrooms,” Bradshaw said.

Crews entered the men’s restroom and found an active fire, which they quickly extinguished. “The fire was fairly small, but extensive smoke and heat damage occurred within the restroom,” Bradshaw said.

The fire department was on the scene until about 10:45 p.m.

Store manager Bill Solinger said the store was closed the rest of Monday night, but reopened “business as usual” Tuesday morning.

“The only difference is the women’s room is a unisex today,” Solinger said. “That’s the only inconvenience.”

Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.