Eagle-Vail fire spread quickly, witnesses say
EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado What started as a small fire outside an Eagle-Vail business quickly turned into leaping flames and billowing clouds of dark smoke Wednesday afternoon.Fire officials said they are still investigating the cause of a fire that consumed a wall of Maximum Comfort Pool and Spa.Several hot tub covers leaning against the side of the building caught fire, quickly spreading to several propane tanks and cars in the parking lot.Witnesses said the fire grew in a matter of seconds, producing billowing smoke that spread across U.S. Highway 6 and causing considerable damage to the east side of the building.(The fire) was tiny at first, said Natalie Benson, who was walking her dog past the building. It just happened so fast. The flames got pretty high. They must have been a couple feet up past the top of the building.Jason Stegman, an employee at Big-O Tires across the street, said he was driving past the building when he saw smoke and small flames.I called 911, and before I was finished with the call it already spread to the whole side of the building, Stegman said.Witnesses said a store employee ran out and tried to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher.
He only tried for about 5 or 6 seconds before he gave up. It was way too big, Stegman said.The building was evacuated and there were no major injuries, said Eagle River Fire Department Deputy Chief John Willson.One employee who was trying to put out the fire was transported to the hospital for minor injuries, he said.Several people reported hearing explosions, but Willson said the cause of the fire is still unknown.Eagle River Fire Protection District, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Greater Eagle Fire Protection District, Vail Fire Department, Eagle County Ambulance District, Colorado State Patrol, Avon Police Department, Colorado Department of Transportation, Eagle River Water and Sanitation, and Holy Cross Energy responded to the call.The fire did not get inside the building, but left the entire side of the building charred and completely burned out a truck and an SUV