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Deputy rescues two golden retrievers from Front Range fire

Alan Gathright
Rocky Mountain News
Dennis Schroeder/Rocky Moutnain NewsFirefighters from Elk Creek and Evergreen Fire Districts water hot spots on a home that was totally detroyed on Blue Sky Lane on Shadow Mountain in Conifer.
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A Jefferson County deputy spotted a blazing Conifer home today, alerted fire crews, then kicked open the door to rescue two golden retrievers.

The deputy’s quick reactions were critical to snuffing the dangerous fire on a day when the Front Range is under a red-flag wildfire warning because of hot, windy weather and dry grassland “fuel.”

As embers for the burning house ignited small fires in nearby trees and dry grass, Jefferson County issued a reverse 911 call to 47 surrounding homes alerting people in case they chose to voluntarily evacuate, said Jefferson County sheriff’s spokesman Jim Shires. Only four people decided to leave their homes.



Earlier, Elk Creek Fire Department officials had said the residents were under “order” to evacuate as a precaution. Shires clarified that the reverse 911 message did not issue a mandatory evacuation order.

The drama began about 11:30 a.m. when the deputy patrolling on 285 U.S. spotted smoke in the Conifer hills and radioed dispatchers to see if a fire had been reported.

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Told a fire hadn’t been reported, the deputy drove to Blue Sky Trail and Shadow Mountain Drive, where he found the three-story house almost fully engulfed in flames.

“He had to kick the door down and he rescued two golden retrievers out of the house,” Shires said. “All the dogs are fine.”

The owners weren’t home at the time. No one was hurt in the fire.



Elk Creek officials took no chances with the fire spreading on a tinder-dry day, calling in additional fire crews and water trucks from North Fork, Evergreen, Inter-Canyon and Indian Hills fire agencies.

“We have an aggressive response in progress,” said Jody Wagner, spokeswoman for the Elk Creek fire agency.

Fire crews had the house fire knocked out before 1 p.m. and quickly mopped up the burning grass spots.

“They did a great job of containing it,” Shires said of fire crews.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.


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