Cop alerts resident to house fire

A man who lives at 211 Grand Ave. watches as the corner of his home goes up in flames Tuesday afternoon. Grand Junction firefighters arrived soon after the fire started and put out the flames quickly. Sgt. Dave Oswalt of the Grand Junction Police Department saw the smoke and made sure the man and his dog evacuated from the home. The man didn’t know the fire had started until Oswalt arrived.

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.


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