Jerry Bledsoe, 46, of Hotchkiss is in critical condition at Western States Burn Center at North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley following a fire in his apartment in the 200 block of East Orchard. The blaze occurred Thursday, April 19, at 11:30 p.m.
According to Hotchkiss Marshal Dan Miller and Hotchkiss Fire Chief Doug Fritz, Deputy Marshals Chad Lloyd and Gates Shakley responded to a reported structure fire. When they arrived, they found the apartment engulfed in flames. Lloyd and Shakley entered the apartment surrounded by heavy smoke. They attempted to extinguish the fire and to evacuate other apartment residents. Bledsoe was found unconscious by Lloyd, who pulled him out of the fire. Bledsoe, who is disabled, suffered severe burns and smoke inhalation. He was transported by the North Fork Ambulance Association to Delta County Memorial Hospital. He was later flown from Grand Junction to the burn center in Greeley.
Moments after arriving, 11 firefighters extinguished the fire, which was confined to a single room. The apartment suffered fire and heavy smoke damage to Bledsoe's room. Two other units in the building shared electric service with the damaged apartment, and residents were not allowed to return. A Red Cross Disaster Action Team was dispatched to assist the displaced residents with lodging. They were allowed back into their apartments once power was restored.
Both Fritz and Miller believe the cause of the fire was due to the victim smoking in bed.
Deputy Lloyd was treated for mild smoke inhalation at the scene and released.blog comments powered by Disqus