Eagle County locals reaching out to fire victims | VailDaily.com

Eagle County locals reaching out to fire victims

CVR Avon Condo Fire JM 5-29-12

AVON, Colorado – Locals are already looking for ways to help victims of Monday’s Memorial Day blaze.

No one was injured, but the fire victims lost everything when the blaze demolished Avon’s Chambertin Townhouses and damaged some of the surrounding buildings.

Avon’s Northside Coffee and Kitchen is hosting a spaghetti dinner/fundraiser on Thursday.

The restaurant’s sous chef lived in Chambertin complex and was napping when fire engulfed her home. The flames spread so quickly that she had to run out the door without her shoes to escape, scrambling up the hillside behind the building in her bare feet, said staffers with the Northside Coffee and Kitchen.

Every dime from Thursday’s event goes to the fire victims. Local musician Rod Powell is donating his time for the entertainment.

“It’s a great time for locals to help locals. We’re donating the proceeds, and Rod Powell is donating his time,” said Northside Coffee and Kitchen owner Jim Pavelich.

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The Red Cross is helping organize Thursday’s event.

People are reaching out to help, said Tsu Wolin-Brown with the Salvation Army.

She asked that people donate gift cards or money, since none of the victims have anywhere to store donated items.

“People lost everything. One guy lost his dentures and his glasses. Several lost their cars,” Wolin-Brown said.

Local agencies are trying to find new homes for the fire victims. Some will need to accommodate pets, Wolin-Brown said.

For Monday’s fire, local dispatchers were deluged with so many calls that instant messages went out asking people to stop calling.

Dispatchers received the first call at 4:05 p.m., just moments after a Memorial Day ceremony had started in Edwards’ Freedom Park.

The Eagle River Fire Protection District received the call seconds later, at 4:06 p.m.

Firefighters left the station less than a minute later, at 4:07 p.m. and the first engine was on the scene about four minutes later, according to fire fighters.

The flames were moving so quickly that the condo complex was already engulfed. Fire had jumped across Nottingham Road and started up the hill behind the buildings. Wildland crews and area residents knocked that down quickly.

It took two and a half hours to bring the fire completely under control, firefighters said.

Three of the four units were occupied when the fire broke out. No one was injured, but one person was treated for smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Local authorities requested an arson investigator with the Colorado Bureau of investigation, standard procedure for a fire that causes this much damage, said Mike McWilliam, undersheriff with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.

Fire crews from all over the region helped battle the blaze.

Two ladder trucks used approximately 3,000 gallons per minute of water, according to Eagle River Water and Sanitation District.

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