Fire leaves Fruita family homeless

Nathan and Heather Hanvey stood on a snowpacked Fruita street Wednesday night, thankful that what they were witnessing hadn’t happened in the middle of the night.

After Lower Valley Fire Department firefighters finally extinguished the flames that had been pouring out of a large hole in the roof, little remained of the top of the one-story home they had been renting since March.

The young couple, their two children and their four dogs were going to be displaced from their west Fruita home for Christmas, but they all were safe.

“We’re just thankful we weren’t sleeping when it happened,” Heather Hanvey said.

The Hanveys had gone out for dinner, then drove around to look at Christmas lights on area homes before returning to their home at 440 Tara Drive. As they approached the home, they could see flames and called 911. Heather Hanvey guessed it was about 8 p.m. when that happened.

Nathan Hanvey said the fire appeared to be on the porch, which wraps around half of the home, and he grabbed a 30-pound fire extinguisher and emptied it on that area of the home, but the fire spread quickly. The effort may have been futile, but Heather Hanvey said, “It was worth a shot.”

As of 9:30 p.m., the Fire Department hadn’t talked to the couple about the extent of the damage to the home or the possible cause of the fire.

Heather Hanvey said her family had a place to stay Wednesday night: the home of Nathan’s brother, Mike Hanvey.

Among the couple dozen people who stood outside in the cold and watched the firefighters in action was Esther Watson, who owns the home along with her husband, Miles. She said the home is approximately 1,700 square feet, and she estimated it is worth about $250,000.

She said she and Miles built the home in 2000 and lived in it until February of this year.


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