Chimney fires strike in Wolcott, Beaver Creek |

Chimney fires strike in Wolcott, Beaver Creek

Sarah Mausolf
Beaver Creek, CO Colorado

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado – Flames from a chimney fire burned a large hole in the roof of a Wolcott home early Tuesday morning, firefighters said.

Three people who were home when the fire broke out escaped unharmed, said Chris Blankenship, deputy chief for the Greater Eagle Fire Protection District.

When firefighters responded to the call around 7 a.m., a fire in the chimney pipe of the home’s wood-burning stove had spread to the roof, Blankenship said.

“There were flames coming through the roof,” added Mike Kerst, battalion chief with the Eagle River Fire Protection District.

It took about 12 minutes to put out the blaze, which had charred an 8-by-8-foot hole in the wood shake shingle roof, Blankenship said. Firefighters stayed on the scene for about an hour total, checking for any smoldering debris on the roof or in the attic, he said.

“The cause is still being investigated,” Blankenship said. “We do not believe it was malicious. We believe it was accidental.”

The fire did not displace the people who were living in the single-family home, which stands on U.S. Highway 6 near the Wolcott Yacht Club, he said. Officials are still gathering damage estimates.

“We’re still working with the insurance company to figure that out,” Blankenship said. “It appears to be contained to the roof.”

The Greater Eagle, Eagle River and Gypsum fire protection districts responded, along with the Eagle County Ambulance District and the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Kerst said.

Several hours later, firefighters responded to another chimney fire at the Elkhorn Lodge in Beaver Creek. No one was injured and the lodge sustained no damage, said John Willson, a spokesman for the Eagle River Fire Protection District. Some buildup from previous fires in the fireplace ignited inside the chimney, he said. Firefighters put out the fire. Officials were still investigating the cause of the fire as of about 5:20 p.m., Willson said.

Fire officials say the fires highlight the importance of keeping chimneys clean. Blankenship said people should get their chimneys cleaned at least once a year.

“I would do it before the season comes in, so fall, but if they haven’t done it yet, any time is a good time,” he said.

Staff Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or

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