Structure fire in Minturn extinguished; Highway 24 reopened in both directions | VailDaily.com

Structure fire in Minturn extinguished; Highway 24 reopened in both directions

MINTURN — A morning structure fire in Minturn that shut down U.S. Highway 24 in both directions for about a half hour was quickly extinguished.

The Vail Public Safety Communications Center received a call at 7:43 a.m. Tuesday, July 3, reporting flames up and around the garage of a duplex on the south end of Main Street in Minturn.

Engine 5 out of the Eagle River Fire Protection District's Minturn station was first on the scene three minutes later, said Tracy LeClair, community risk manager and public information office for the Eagle River Fire Protection District.

When crews arrived, light smoke was visible from the garage and front porch area of the rear unit of the duplex. A neighbor told crews he attempted to extinguish the fire with a garden hose and had gotten two of the occupants out of the home. One female occupant was still inside but was evacuated without injury.

"It appears to have originated outside next to the garage," said LeClair, noting that the cause of the fire was still under investigation.

Firefighters stripped the siding from the underside of the overhang and perimeter of the front porch of the home to check for remaining hot spots within the insulation and up into the exterior of the second floor. The building sustained moderate damage to the front porch and eaves, but the flames were contained to the exterior of the building.

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"I would like to extend our thanks to the town of Minturn Public Works Department," LeClair said in a news release. "They were on scene in minutes, helping to shut down the road and to connect hoses to hydrants. The neighbor should be commended, as well, for his quick call to 911 and in getting the occupants out of the house."

Highway 24 through Minturn was closed during the incident.

One lane of traffic on Highway 24 was re-opened around 8:30 a.m., as firefighters continued to chip away at siding and ensure nothing was left smoldering. The highway was re-opened in both directions at 10:27 a.m., according to an Eagle County Alert.

Engine 5, Battalion 7 and Engine 7 of the Eagle River Fire Protection District responded and were assisted by Tower 3 and Battalion 3 from Vail Fire and Emergency Services, Minturn Public Works, the Eagle County Sheriff's Office, Eagle County Paramedic Services and Vail Public Safety Communications Center.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick contributed to this report.