Fire that burned Fruitvale home, was set, official says

A fire that destroyed a Fruitvale home and left a family of four homeless last week was intentionally set, the Clifton Fire Protection District said Tuesday.

Fire investigator Chris Rowland said the blaze, which was reported at 12:45 a.m. Thursday, started at a Dodge Ram 350 pickup that had been parked under a carport at 3049 F 3/4 Road. Rowland declined to disclose other details, citing an ongoing investigation.

“We know the what and how, and we’re working on who,” Rowland said.

The department said in a news release that evidence was collected at the scene and that investigators are reviewing eyewitness statements. Rowland confirmed the burned truck was owned by a person who lived at the home.

The Pena family, a husband, wife, 3-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl, closed on the purchase of the home seven days before the fire. A relief fund benefiting the Pena family was established last week through Wells Fargo bank.

Barbara Ball, a Grand Junction resident who is assisting the Penas, said the family is staying with relatives in the area.


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