Lionshead condo fire under investigation |

Lionshead condo fire under investigation

Geraldine Haldner

“This is a fire that took off between the ceiling and the roof,” said Vail Fire Marshal Mike McGee.

McGee, who was busy escorting insurance representatives to and from the burned-out unit on the fifth floor of the west wing of the Vail Spa Condominiums, said the fire was not officially out as of Friday afternoon.

“It is still smoldering in the insulation in the walls and the ceiling, which is now mostly on the floor,” McGee said pointing to a ankle-deep layer of ash flakes covering floors in the charred and now window-less apartment.

While firefighters roamed in between soaked and sagging furniture and a clean-up crew removed trash bags of soaked bedding and curtains from units below, McGee said the cause of the fire will likely not be determined until Monday, when he and four insurance investigators will trace the path and origin of the fire.

So far he said, he would not eliminate any possible causes.

A preliminary estimate puts the damage of the blaze at $2 million. The unit was unoccupied at the time of the fire and no one was injured in the process of containing the blaze.

Representatives of the Vail Spa Condominiums could not be reached Friday afternoon.

Two dozen firefighters from Vail, as well as the Eagle River Fire Protection District and the Greater Eagle Fire Protection District battled the blaze into the early morning hours. The effort was complicated because lack of access rendered three aerial-ladder trucks useless.

A structural engineer has been called to evaluate the building’s integrity. The Vail Spa complex is home to 55 condominiums and is located just across West Lionshead Circle from the Marriott Vail Mountain Resort, which was heavily damaged in a fire almost exactly two years ago.

Geraldine Haldner covers Vail, Minturn and Red Cliff. She can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 602, or at

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