Cop alerts resident to house fire
A random drive to a downtown Grand Junction gas station by a police officer may have saved a man and his dog from a burning home on Tuesday.
Police Sgt. Dave Oswalt, who runs the department’s evidence room, had stopped at Conoco, 1917 N. First St., to gas up a department evidence van, accompanied by another employee, when they noticed smoke and flame from nearby 211 Grand Ave., according to police and fire officials.
Oswalt at some point observed someone in a window inside the home as flames raged on its east end, spokeswoman Kate Porras said. A man, apparently unaware of the blaze, learned of the fire from Oswalt and escaped unscathed with his dog.
“We’re very fortunate an officer was in the area,” Grand Junction Fire Department spokesman Mike Page said.
Firefighters were called at 3:44 p.m., while Page said the blaze appeared to have started on the exterior of the home. Flames licked another home to the east of the 211 Grand Ave. home. A damage estimate wasn’t known.
Between the two damaged properties, Page said as many as three people, displaced by the fire, were expected to receive short-term assistance from the western Colorado chapter of the American Red Cross.
The cause of the fire was investigation.