WALSENBURG — Huerfano County Fire Protection District firefighters faced bitter cold conditions in two early morning fires last week in Walsenburg. Both structure fires were reported before 4 am on Thursday and Friday. The first fire was reported at approximately 3:35 am on Thursday, February 6 from 303 Pennsylvania. A Walsenburg police officer reported heavy smoke coming from the two-story single family home prior to the arrival of firefighters. The officer, Josh Berzanji, and personnel from Huerfano County EMS reportedly assisted the occupant of the home, Charlie Robinson, in escaping from the second floor. In addition to ten firefighters and three fire vehicles from HCFPD, La Veta Fire Protection District sent three fire units and eight firefighters to assist.
The HCFPD report says there was fire damage throughout the residence in walls, floor and contents. The preliminary investigation appears to be an issue with the stovepipe/chimney, HCFPD Chief Gerald Jerant told the Huerfano World Journal Monday afternoon. The report says the point of origin of the blaze was on the south side of the dwelling. No injuries were reported. At 3:57 am on Friday, February 7, firefighters responded to a structure fire at 718 W. 7th St., in Walsenburg. La Veta volunteer firefighters were also requested to assist in this incident which heavily damaged one of the duplex units. The report says the interior team was able to extinguish most of the fire from the front door area, and once they came out, a second interior team was sent in through the rear door to fully put out what remained of the fire. A check of the attic area was made to ensure no sparks had eluded the firefighting efforts.
The exact cause of this fire has not been determined. Jerant said the building owner has contacted his insurance agency and expect a private fire investigator to work on finding the cause of the fire this week. No injuries were reported in this fire. Jerant said residents should always have their chimneys, stovepipes and wood burning stoves cleaned and checked and those using space heaters should always ensure they are in good working order and not located near any flammable debris or items such as curtains and that all extension cords are in good, safe working order and are not located under rugs.