Fire destroys Fruitvale house

A Grand Junction firefighter cuts an access vent to a fire that spread Wednesday to the attic of a house at 2937 Wellington Ave.



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A Grand Junction firefighter cuts an access vent to a fire that spread Wednesday to the attic of a house at 2937 Wellington Ave.

Fire ripped through the back side of a Fruitvale home Wednesday afternoon, causing what likely is a total loss.

Fire officials said that no one was home when the blaze broke out around 11:30 a.m. at 2937 Wellington Ave.

Four animals that live in the home were able to escape the fire.

About 25 firefighters and five engine companies responded to the scene of the modest, single-story home in the Colanwood subdivision. Neighbors and law enforcement personnel gathered along the two closest streets to the address, Colanwood Street and 29 3/8 Road, while thick smoke circled overhead and flames consumed the attic and rear of the house.

Grand Junction Fire Department spokesman Mike Page said “100 percent of our resources, as far as fire is concerned” responded to the blaze.

He said a lot of cellulose insulation, as well as an abundance of concealed spaces, made the blaze particularly tricky for firefighters.

By the time the fire was in the mop-up stage, around 12:40 p.m., much of the back half of the home had been charred.

According to property records, the home is owned by Tim and Jere Hagin.

Neighbors said the current occupants of the home were family members of the Hagins.

A young woman — clearly emotional at the scene and identified by neighbors as the home’s primary resident — declined to speak to a reporter. But she was overheard telling a sheriff’s deputy on-scene, “I smoked a cigarette before I left — but I’m sure I put it out.”

Page said the fire was under investigation and that no cause had been immediately determined.

“From what I saw it appears like maybe it started in back on the outside, and then got up in the attic. But it’s difficult to tell at this point,” Page said.

June Weddle, 97, lives across the street. She learned about the fire when someone came by her home to check on her. From her garage, Weddle said she could see “smoke rolling out of the top” of the house.  She said she could not remember a major house fire like the one Wednesday in her 24 years of living in the neighborhood.



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