Singletree home goes up in flames |

Singletree home goes up in flames

Matt Zalaznick

Thick smoke began pouring from the home at 121 Hackamore Road in Singletree shortly after 4 p.m. Doug Workman’s wife Jennifer was home with her sister in the west half of the building when the blaze erupted.

“She called me at work and said she saw fire. I told her to get out and I raced home,” Doug Workman said. “Everyone’s OK, and that’s the important thing.”

No people or pets were injured in the blaze, which was easily seen by cars passing by on Interstate 70. Smoke could be seen billowing into the air from Avon as a ridge of flames burned along the peak of the roof. The Workmans’ half of the home didn’t appear to be as badly damaged as the eastern half of the duplex, whose owners gathered on the lawn as firefighters shot streams of water onto the roof.

Though the home may be badly damaged, it appears a more serious tragedy was averted.

“My wife is pregnant, and that was our main concern,” Doug Workman said. “And our dog got out, too.”

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Most of the fire had been put out by 6 p.m., though firefighters continued to snuff small flames in the roof into the evening. The Workmans planned to spend Thursday night in a hotel.

Investigators had not yet determined the cause of the fire Thursday evening, said Lt. Chuck House, a fire investigator with the Eagle River Protection District.

“There is significant damage, but how extensive we still can’t tell,” House said as firefighters removed a charred slab of iron from the roof of the house.

Underneath, was a black, smoldering heap of scorched wood.

“It’s hard to tell what started it,” House said. “We got a report of heavy smoke and the first crew that went to the scene saw the flames from the interstate.”

Dozens of stunned neighbors gathered in the street outside the home and watched as firefighters fought to stop the nasty blaze from destroying the duplex.

“It’s sad to see a house burn like that,” said neighbor Mike McClure. “It’s terrible. These people are going to be displaced and without their belongings.”

Dennis McGillvray was on his way home to Eagle when he saw the flames from I-70.

“It leaves you speechless,” McGillvray said. “To lose everything you own would just be too much.”

Aside from dozens of firefighters from the Eagle River Fire Protection District, crews from the Vail Fire Department, the Gypsum Fire Department and the Greater Eagle Fire Protection District battled the blaze.

Ambulances from the Eagle County Ambulance District were on the scene in case any firefighters or residents were injured.

Investigators from the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and fire marshals had not yet entered the home Thursday evening to begin determining the cause of the blaze and the amount of damage.

“Externally, it’s hard to tell how much damage there is. There’s a lot of heavy charring,” Eagle County sheriff’s Detective Doug Winters said. “But everybody’s OK.”

Workman said he hoped officials would soon let him into the home to survey the damage.

“Our main goal is to salvage as much as we can once they let us in there,” he said.

Matt Zalaznick covers public safety, Eagle County Courts and Avon/ Beaver Creek. He can be reached at (970) 949-0555 ext. 606 or via e-mail at

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