‘Suspicious’ blaze ignites two structures near Rifle | PostIndependent.com

‘Suspicious’ blaze ignites two structures near Rifle

Heidi Rice
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE ” A single family home and an outbuilding between Rifle and Rulison were destroyed early Friday morning in a fire officials are still calling “suspicious” and arson is not being ruled out.

Emergency personnel responded around 5:30 a.m. to the blaze at 8630 County Road 301 between Rifle and Rulison. Upon arrival, the crews found that the roofs of the two structures had already collapsed and the buildings were a complete loss.

“The cause of the fire is undetermined and honestly, we may never know the cause,” said Kevin Whelan, fire marshal for the Rifle Fire Protection District. “But arson is always a consideration because of the magnitude of the fire. It sends little red flags up for us.”

The homeowners were not at the residence at the time and no injuries were reported.

The fire was considered contained after about seven hours, although Whelan said it may smolder for several days.

Damage is initially estimated at around $375,000 for the home and the outbuilding.

Responding along with the Rifle Fire Protection District, the Grand Valley Fire Protection District crews set up a water shuttle operation because of a lack of water in the area. The Garfield County Sheriff’s deputies assisted as did Holy Cross Electric, which responded to the scene to help shut off utilities to the structures involved.

A total of 16 firefighters and seven pieces of apparatus responded to the scene, according to the RFPD.

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