House fire in Vail Saturday causes $50,000 in damages |

House fire in Vail Saturday causes $50,000 in damages

Christine Ina Casillas
Special to the DailyAn unattended natural gas-fired heater was apparently the cause of a house fire in Vail late Saturday.

The fire was apparently caused by a natural gas-fired “salamander”-type heater that was being used to dry stucco on the exterior of a chimney at 1193 Cabin Circle, said Mike McGee, Vail’s deputy fire chief.

No injuries were reported in the fire.

The Vail Fire Department responded to the call around 11:30 p.m.

“Getting up for four hours in the middle of the night just wasn’t right,” McGee said. “But luckily nobody was home and nobody was injured.”

The house was under renovation and the gas heater was being used to heat spaces under construction, McGee said. The heater was too close to combustible roofing materials and ignited the roof. Fire crew attacked the fire from the second floor and from the exterior.

“It was a natural-gas portable heater that was the source of the ignition,” McGee said. “It was contained in about 20 minutes. It wasn’t getting any bigger.”

The fire was confined to the chimney chase and roof of the single-family home, McGee said.

But drivers could see the flames from Interstate 70, McGee said. The first call the fire department received was from a man driving along the interstate.

“When he saw the flames, there was some initial concern that the fire was spreading to the trees nearby,” McGee said. “But that wasn’t the case.”

A neighbor who also saw the flames called to report the fire, he said.

Christine Ina Casillas can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607, or at

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