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Explosion, fire destroys La Veta home Monday

LA VETA — The peace and quiet of this small southern Colorado community was shattered Monday morning when an unoccupied home became the scene of an explosion, which fire officials have classified as a criminal act. La Veta Marshal Harold Willburn said Tuesday, following an on-scene investigation by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the explosion and fire were an intentional arson. State investigators were at the location for about four hours Monday afternoon into the evening. Items of evidence have been collected which Willburn took to the CBI Pueblo office on Tuesday. No suspects have been identified, although Willburn said he hopes some of the items gathered from the scene may lead to an eventual arrest. Willburn is asking anyone with information regarding the incident, to call the La Veta’s Marshal’s Office at 719-742-3344, the Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office at 719-738-1600 or Huerfano County non-emergency dispatch at 719-738-1044. La Veta Fire Protection District and Huerfano Fire Protection District firefighters were called to the

home at 236 W. Grand shortly after calls reporting a loud, violent explosion were heard and the fire ignited. Huerfano County dispatch said the first call reporting the explosion in the home located behind Lucy’s RV Park came in at 8:29 am. Willburn said the home was unoccupied and he believed utilities services had been off for some time. Employees from a local propane company were on scene shortly after 9:20 am to check to make sure the propane tank was not feeding fuel to the home. Willburn said neighbors told him people, believed to be the property owners, had been moving furniture and other items out of the home for the past year, but no one had been to the house in the past two months. It is believed the home was for rent. The force of the explosion sent glass raining into the street and blew the front door of the home into the front yard. One side wall of the home was clearly pushed out from the blast. Firefighters had to battle the fire from the exterior of the dwelling, as it was deemed unsafe to enter for fear of the roof collapsing.

Bertha Trujillo

  Bertha Trujillo, 97, from Gardner, Colo., entered her eternal home on Feb. 12, 2024. She was born in Gardner, Colo., on Sept. 30, 1926,

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