Storage unit fire near Rifle caused by sparks from grinder, official says |

Storage unit fire near Rifle caused by sparks from grinder, official says

A Colorado River Fire Rescue firefighter sprays down a flaming vehicle during a fire just outside of Rifle on May 19.
Ray K. Erku / Post Independent

The fire that consumed storage units, parked cars and portable bathrooms near Rifle on May 19 was caused by sparks flying from a grinder, an official said Tuesday.

“(People) were grinding on something outside, and the sparks got on combustible material inside a storage unit,” Colorado River Fire Rescue Chief Leif Sackett said.

For hours May 19, firefighters dispatched from all across Garfield County battled the raging fire at storage units in Cottonwood Springs Park. One man was taken to the hospital for burns to his hands, Sackett said.

As large plumes of black smoke rose from the units, firefighters performed defensive attacks to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby structures.

The storage units are adjacent to a mobile home park. No homes sustained damages from the fire.

Sackett did not speak on total damages caused by the fire, as insurance appraisals are still being conducted.

Vehicles ablaze during a fire just outside of Rifle on Thursday morning.
Ray K. Erku / Post Independent

Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or

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