Electric blanket may have caused fire

A residential fire in Palisade that left a family homeless Monday may have been started by an electric blanket.

Palisade Fire Department Chief Richard Rupp said the fire originated in the master bedroom of the home at 114 Majestic Court. Evidence suggests an electric blanket was left on in a pile of clothes in the bedroom, Rupp said, providing an ideal incubator for ignition.

“Electric blankets just weren’t designed for that,” Rupp said.

The good news, Rupp said, is the house is not a total loss.

Insurance investigators believe the Boumans’ home would be cheaper to repair than to tear down and rebuild.

The worst of the fire was contained to the south side of the home, Rupp said, leaving the main part of the home structurally sound.

Rupp said the Red Cross has found a temporary home for Jim Bouman and his family, and neighbors, along with officials from the town of Palisade, are working on establishing a fund to assist the family.

Jim Bouman had recently lost his welding job in the energy industry and was starting a new job.

Rupp said he “couldn’t pin down” an exact cost of damage to the home, but the Boumans purchased the property for $309,000 a year ago and have renovated the home. 


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