FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Steve Lipsher, Public Information Officer
Lake Dillon firefighters were called to a structure fire in west Keystone Ranch on Dec. 23, and, assisted by firefighters from Breckenridge’s Red, White and Blue Fire, were able to limit the damage and save the duplex. There were no injuries.
Slightly after 3 p.m., the first-arriving crews encountered smoke emanating from the roof eves and several windows on one half of a duplex. A total of 18 firefighters on 4 apparatus and three command vehicles responded.
The fire was located in the kitchen on one side of a duplex and knocked down by an aggressive interior attack. The fire had also spread to a common area crawl space and vertical shaft, making extinguishment challenging.
One half of the duplex was occupied and owned from out-of-town residents from the Chicago area who were all evacuated safely. The other half of the duplex, where the fire originated, was owned by a family from the Front Range.
Lake Dillon Fire investigators have determined that the fire started in the ground-floor kitchen in an undermount electric heater. The heater is often called a “toe-kick” unit. Lake Dillon Fire has had several fires related to undermount or toe-kick heaters over the past several years.
Preliminary estimates on damage are approximately $80,000. The entire duplex is valued at more than $2 million. The duplex was constructed in 1981 by Ralston Purina who owned and operated Keystone Resort at the time.
According to Lake Dillon Deputy Chief Jeff Berino: “The quick thinking of the residents in the duplex and a prompt 911 call enabled Lake Dillon firefighters to contain the fire to the room of origin in one-half of the duplex.”