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April 30, 2013
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Fire destroys two Dotsero homes

DOTSERO — No one was injured when fire leveled two mobile homes midday Tuesday, destroying everything in and around them.

A woman and her granddaughter had been out for a walk for about a half hour when a neighbor spotted smoke belching from the mobile home and called 911, said Eagle County sheriff’s deputies on the scene.

The flames were whipped by winds from the southwest gusting up to 20 mph, pushing the fire from the mobile home where the fire started to the neighboring trailer to the east.

Firefighters were on the scene so quickly that they contained the fire to those two homes.

“In a wind driven event, I’m thrilled to contain it to two units,” said David Vroman, Gypsum fire chief.

“The initial report was that someone was trapped. After we arrived, we determined that was not the case,” Vroman said.

Not only was no one injured, as the mobile homes burned around them, firefighters even saved three dogs trapped in an outbuilding that was also on fire.

The 911 call went to dispatch at 11:27 a.m., when a neighbor spotted smoke pouring from the trailer.

Two minutes later, the first Gypsum Fire Department truck blasted out the door, on its way from Gypsum to Dotsero. Less than seven minutes later, the Gypsum fire and rescue truck had sped more than seven miles to Dotsero and rolled up as firefighters leaped to begin battling the blaze.

“We could see the plume of smoke as we pulled onto the interstate in Gypsum,” said Justin Kirkland, deputy chief of the Gypsum Fire Department.

Kirkland was in that first truck, and even before it stopped rolling he called for help from firefighters across the valley.

As trucks from Eagle, Edwards and the airport rolled in, firefighters from Vail fanned out to stations left understaffed as firefighters rolled to Dotsero — ensuring adequate fire protection up and down the valley, Vroman said.

“It’s the cooperative system you saw performed so well last summer during the wildfire season; Everyone working as one,” Vroman said.

When they arrived, the first mobile home was fully engulfed and the fire had spread to the second floor, pushed by wind gusts up to 20 mph.

Deputies from the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office were on the scene seconds before the firefighters and immediately started evacuating people, said Deputy Bob Silva.

Both mobile homes were a total loss, their frames blackened and twisted from the heat. The yards around was littered with the cinders of destroyed cars, motorcycles, bicycles, toys and vehicle parts. At least three vehicles were also burned.

Vroman said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. He said initially it looks like it started in the middle of the mobile home, where the wood stove and kitchen are located.

The fire was controlled in minutes after the first trucks were on the scene, firefighters said. It took about two hours to completely extinguish it.

Firefighters remained on the scene through the evening, monitoring hot spots. Residents were allowed back in their homes late Tuesday afternoon.

The Dotsero mobile home park has 70 mobile homes.

The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol, Gypsum Fire Protection District, Greater Eagle Fire Protection District, Eagle River Fire Protection District, Eagle County Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting, Western Eagle County Ambulance District, Eagle County Emergency Management, Eagle County Road and Bridge, American Red Cross, town of Gypsum, Holy Cross Energy, Ferrell Gas and Salvation Army all worked on this incident.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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The VailDaily Updated May 1, 2013 01:07PM Published May 2, 2013 01:38PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.