Fire destroys unoccupied home south of Cortez

Firefighters battle a blaze at 2578 Highway 160 about 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Enlargephoto

Courtesy of Cortez Fire Department

Firefighters battle a blaze at 2578 Highway 160 about 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

A home was destroyed by fire Saturday night south of Cortez.

Firefighters from Cortez, Towaoc, and Lewis-Arriola responded to 2578 Highway 160 about 8:30 p.m.

The home, owned by Clinton Dean, was not occupied, and there were no injuries. Drivers passing by called in the blaze about 8:20 p.m., and the first fire trucks arrived 10 minutes later. The fire’s cause is under investigation.

“The house was destroyed,” said Cortez Fire chief Jeff Vandevoorde. “When I arrived, there was heavy fire from the middle of the building. We had to be really cautious because there was a danger of roof collapse.”

Cortez Fire dispatched a fire engine, a water tender, and two rescue trucks. Towaoc Fire sent out a water tender, and Lewis-Arriola Fire contributed a fire engine and water tender.

“The guys did a good job of knocking it down quickly, but it became difficult because the fire had spread into the attics, roofs, and walls of multiple add-ons to the home,” Vandevoorde said. “It’s too bad. It was a nice place.”

Tankers were kept resupplied from hydrants at the Ute Mountain casino. A crew of 18 from all departments battled the fire and mopped until 3 a.m.