Fire destroys new home

25 firefighters, 4 local districts battle blaze; homeowners vacationing in Texas during early morning inferno

Fire destroyed a house on Road 23.5 west of Cortez early Thursday morning. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal photos

Fire destroyed a house on Road 23.5 west of Cortez early Thursday morning.

Twenty-five firefighters from four local districts battled a house fire early Thursday morning at the Crestview subdivision on County Road 23.5.

The newly built ranch-style home was a total loss, Cortez Fire Chief Jeff Vandevoorde said.

“It had an early start and was fully involved when firefighters arrived,” he said.

Homeowners Julia and Clinton Gropp were on vacation in Texas, and there was no one at the residence at the time of the fire. There were no injuries.

Two pet dogs were outdoors at the residence and were unharmed. They were taken in by neighbors.

Two investigators were on the scene Thursday morning sifting through the debris to determine a cause.

“It was a defensive fight right off the bat, and no way to enter the interior,” Vandevoorde said. “The roof was already caving in, and we fought the fire for several hours.”

Cortez, Lewis, Dolores, and Towaoc fire departments all responded to the house fire in the subdivision, located west of Highway 491. Four water tenders, three fire engines and two rescue units were on scene.

Water was pulled from hydrants located on County Road L.

Cortez firefighter Brock Fortson finishes up dousing the smoldering ashes at the house fire early Thursday morning. Enlargephoto

Cortez firefighter Brock Fortson finishes up dousing the smoldering ashes at the house fire early Thursday morning.