Man believed to have died in fire

Would-be rescuers say man never made it out of burning mobile home

A witness says a burning barrel of trash appears to have been the cause of a fire believed to have killed a man in a mobile home near New Castle Sunday.

Brit McLin, chief of the Burning Mountains Fire Department, said Monday it was his understanding a body was found, but he could not confirm that. The Garfield County Coroner’s Office was on the scene Monday but referred questions to the sheriff’s department, which could not be reached for comment.

The fire occurred on Apple Drive in the Mountain Shadows subdivision.

Neighbor George Mosher said his elderly neighbor had been burning trash close to his porch but was inside when the home caught fire. Mosher said he and other neighbors tried to enter the home to rescue the man, who suffered from hip troubles, but they were driven back by smoke and flames.

“When I got over there the entire front of the house was involved in flames, the ground was involved in flames, everything was involved in flames,” Mosher said.

Mosher said the trash fire had made some small explosions, and he thinks something blew out of the barrel and ignited nearby gasoline or some other accelerant.

McLin said the fire burned the middle of the mobile home and an adjacent carport, but it wasn’t immediately apparent where it began.

He said the Colorado Bureau of Investigation is looking into the fire’s cause.

McLin said the structures appear to be total losses.

Firefighters were called at 5:15 p.m., he said. About 20 firefighters responded, including crews from Glenwood Springs and Rifle. McLin said he believes they remained on the scene until about 8 p.m.

Mosher knew his neighbor for 30 years and described him as “a real nice guy.”

Mosher said he believes a son of his neighbor who lives out of state has been notified and is coming to Colorado.


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