by Guy Blasi
EASTERN HUERFANO COUNTY- Eighteen pet dogs died and two survived when a rural single-wide mobile home burned 15 miles east of Walsenburg on Sunday. According to Huerfano County Fire Protection District Chief Gerald Jerant, the home’s owners, Phillip and Sharon Boardman were not home at the time of the blaze. The home was located south of Highway 10 on County Road 210. The source of the fire has been attributed to a faulty propane-fueled stove.
“We received the call at 4:12 pm and our crews arrived at about 4:40 pm. By the time crews arrived the home had completely burned, by then it was pretty much just a mop up job. The mobile home burned quickly,” Jerant said. “We initially called LaVeta Fire Department for back-up, but called them off when we realized there wasn’t much of a fire left to fight. Two dogs managed to escape and other structures and farm animals on the property were not injured. The dogs in the fire died from smoke inhalation.”
Chief Jerant also noted the Boardmans were known for picking up stray dogs from time-to-time and they were not in the business of running an animal rescue operation. Jerant noted he had contacted the Red Cross to assist the family while they are staying with friends. All of the Boardman’s personal possessions burned in the fire. “The home did not have insurance,” Jerant said. “Therefore, we will not need to conduct a formal investigation.”