Rock slams into living room |

Rock slams into living room

Dennis Webb
Post Independent/Kelley Cox On Tuesday, Glenwood Springs emergency crews responded to a call in the 3000 block area of Midland Avenue to a home damaged by falling boulders. This boulder, the size of a dishwasher, entered the upstairs apartment living room on the north side and exited on the east side.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Had Angelique Fiorillo been watching television Tuesday, “Oprah” might have one less fan today.Fortunately for Fiorillo, she wasn’t in her usual chair in the living room of her apartment on Midland Avenue late Tuesday afternoon when a rock came down Red Mountain in Glenwood Springs. It crashed through two walls in the corner of her living room. A lot of days, Fiorillo said, she would have been sitting in that corner at that time of day, in front of “Oprah.”

“Luckily, I wasn’t watching TV, because very bad stuff would have happened,” she said.”I’m doing OK. I’m alive,” Fiorillo said less than an hour after the rockfall, as she collected items from her apartment and prepared to spend the night with her brother-in-law, Kevin Kneipper, who lives near Glenwood Springs.Fiorillo’s two cats, Odin and Loki, also are fine, though a bit shaken. She said she found them hiding beneath a dresser in her bedroom.”Luckily none of them ran away,” she said. “They’re very spooked. It took a while to get them out.”Another rock struck the hood of a truck on Midland at about the same time that her apartment was hit, but no one in the truck was hurt, Fiorillo said.

Fiorillo lives in an end unit of a six-apartment complex. The surrounding area is prone to rockfalls, particularly when heavy rains loosen the earth on Red Mountain. In April 2004, a rock about seven feet long landed in the living room of a home on Hager Lane, below the site of Tuesday’s incident, and a second rock ended up in the home’s bedroom. No one was injured, although the home’s owner and a renter were asleep inside.It was raining heavily in Glenwood Springs Tuesday when a rock about the size of a coffee table bounced down the mountain, glanced off branches high up a tree and angled through Fiorillo’s second-floor living room. The rock landed in the grass outside, leaving a crater before rolling several more feet to a stop.Fragments of the apartment’s wood shingled wall covered the grass near the rock. Inside the apartment, some of the tree branches that the rock hit jutted into the hole in the living room. The room’s shredded corner looked like the beginnings of a demolition project.

“Do you want to see the tool shed? It’s pretty much nonexistent,” Fiorillo said, heading around back. There, a side of the shed was disintegrated, its pieces sitting inside the shed along with a rock slightly smaller than the one that tore through the living room.”It kind of sounds like a gunshot, like an explosion, I don’t know,” she said.Fiorillo’s husband, Richard, was away at work at the time of the incident.She said they moved to Glenwood Springs from Denver in May. While she had been aware of close calls involving rockfall in that part of town in the past, she hadn’t worried about it prior to Tuesday.Others remained in their apartments at the building Tuesday night, but not Fiorillo – and not just because of the two holes in her living room.

“I’m afraid to stay here and have more boulders crashing through,” she said.Vail, Colorado

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