‘Everybody here in Palisade will help them out’
Fire ravaged a two-story Palisade house on Monday at 114 Majestic Court.
No one was home when the fire erupted just after 11 a.m. But an hour after firefighters from the Palisade and the Orchard Mesa fire departments had arrived, Jim Bouman roared up in his silver Dodge pickup and rushed toward the smoke and flame.
Cpl. Andy Scott of the Palisade Police Department put his hands up to block Bouman’s path.
He went to his knees.
Scott knelt with him in the street and put an arm on his shoulder to console him.
Bouman, the homeowner, put his face in his hands and wept in the falling rain.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Palisade police officers were the first to arrive after getting a report of fire at 11:17 a.m., Scott said. Firefighters arrived quickly thereafter. Almost immediately, firefighters called for help from the East Orchard Mesa Fire Department. A handful of Central Orchard Mesa firefighters also pitched in, Scott said.
Two pumper trucks and more than a dozen firefighters went to work. By the time the fire was done crackling its way through the wood-framed home, it looked like a complete loss.
Neighbors spoke well of the young family and grieved for their loss.
Jim Bouman recently had found new work after losing his job as a welder in the gas fields, neighbors said.
“I really feel bad for them,” Nick Lopez said.
Lopez said he was on Interstate 70 when he saw the smoke plume rising from Palisade and mixing with the low gray clouds. He thought it was his home that was afire.
“Everybody here in Palisade will help them out. I just hope for the best for them,” he said.
As fire fight still raged, with thick smoke and some flames gushing from the home, one neighbor, Andy Affrunti, arrived to see his house was safe. But then he made a cell phone call.
“The house just burned down,” he said to the person on the other end of the line. “I’m serious.”
There seemed a moment of confusion, an awkward pause.
“Your house,” Affrunti said.
It was Bouman on the other end of the line. He rushed from his work site to the scene, but there was nothing he could do.
“Two fine people with two nice kids, a couple of dogs,” Affrunti said. “It’s just a shame. They were really good neighbors.”