Grass fire forces evacuation at Coronado

       Colorado Springs firefighters doused a grass fire across the street from Coronado High School the afternoon of Nov. 6 after it burned about 20 acres.
       No structures were touched, and there were no injuries, but the fire spread to within a few feet of the sidewalk along Fillmore Street at one point and also got close to Grand Vista Circle, which connects to Fillmore and has apartments on its east side.
       The cause of the blaze is under investigation, according to Battalion Chief Jim Schanel. “We have reason to believe it was deliberately set,” he said.
       Coronado High students were evacuated about 20 minutes early (2:40 p.m.), with vehicles routed east on Fillmore because by then fire trucks and hoses were filling the street between the school and Mesa Road.
       The blaze was reported at about 2 p.m., and was initially just a “smoke investigation” call for Station 5, according to Lt. Kriss Soppe of the Fire Department's Public Information Office. But by the time 5 arrived, the grass was ablaze, had burned close to an acre and, with the help of an 8-mph breeze, was “growing rapidly,” he said.
       Other stations were dispatched to the scene within the next few minutes. Eventually, one or more units from nine stations were on the scene, Soppe said.
       The fire was under control within about 45 minutes. Fire crews monitored the site for the rest of the day and through the night to make sure there were no flare-ups, he said.

Westside Pioneer article