Athletic club fire was arson, cops say

Mead Serra, owner of the Montrose Athletic Club, said he had no idea who would commit such a crime, but he does want to reopen h

MONTROSE — Arson is the cause of a fire that destroyed the Montrose Athletic Club last week, according to a news release from the Montrose Police Department.

Club owner Mead Serra had not heard the news and said he had no reaction and no idea about who would commit such a crime.

Serra said he wants to reopen his business. But he does not own the building, he said, and will wait to see what the owners plan to do.

Montrose police said they have completed their investigation at the scene of the fire that destroyed the 12,000-square-foot building and have turned evidence over to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Montrose police spokeswoman Kathi Kinkel said officers are continuing to interview “persons of interest” in the alleged crime.

Montrose Fire Chief Bob Pistor said the fire department is “out of the loop” as far as the criminal arson investigation is concerned.

He said he will be getting results of CBI’s examination of evidence, but he does not expect that to happen anytime soon.

“I’m sure once we get that we will release it, but I have no idea how long it will take for CBI to get those back,” he said.

“It’s probably not going to be real quick.”

Damage to the building, originally estimated at $500,000, has been increased to $1.5 million, Pistor said, with damage to the contents estimated at $250,000. The building was insured for $2 million, he said.

The contents were also insured, Serra said, but he did not know if all his losses would be covered.

The two-story building on Apollo Road burned Sept. 24.

When firefighters arrived at 12:47 a.m., they found fire coming through the roof, and a collapsed upper floor.

No one was injured in the blaze.


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