Unknown cause for transient camp fire
A fire Nov. 18 next to Fountain Creek three blocks south of Old Colorado City has been confirmed as having started in an “active camp” used by “at least one individual,” Deputy Fire Chief Steve Dubay said this week.
“It had personal effects and one tent,” he said. “That's pretty typical of those things.”
Located under some trees in a city-owned open area off Naegele Road near 25th Street, the fire covered an area of 100 square feet and burned only the camp items and some dead leaves, Dubay said.
He added that the cause of the fire is not known, nor are the identities of the camp's resident(s).
Dubay contacted the Westside Pioneer in response to a request for a fire report. The blaze raised concerns that day because of the region's two large fires in the past two years and its relative proximity to businesses and homes in the Old Colorado City area.
A related concern was the emergency response. Dubay quoted statistics that the fire report was taken at 3:04.20 p.m., with a truck from Station 1 downtown being dispatched at 3:06.21 and arriving at 3:13.15 p.m. The nearest fire facility is Station 5, at 2830 W. Colorado Ave.; with Station 3, at 922 W. Colorado Ave., next in line. However, both those stations' crews were out on calls at the time, so the third closest (Station 1) was sent, Dubay explained.
Another worry that day was the inability of citizens to get through on the 911 emergency line to report the fire. The Westside Pioneer has requested an explanation from 911 via the Police De-partment (which oversees the 911 service) but without success. Gold Hill Police Commander Pat Rigdon did offer one point, based on experience - that the advent of cell phones allows numerous people to report emergencies simultaneously, which can cause 911 to have a temporary backlog.
Westside Pioneer article