On a very cold Saturday evening, Jan. 7, volunteer firefighters from the Cedaredge Volunteer Fire Department responded to a house on fire at 805 W. Main Street in Cedaredge between 7:15 and 7:30 p.m. The residence is a manufactured home with a two-story add-on owned by Gerald (Jerry) Huggett Jr.
Cedaredge Fire Chief Kevin Walker said one of his volunteer firemen, Richard Belden, reported the fire. According to Walker, Belden was driving by the home when he saw smoke coming from the structure and called it in.
According to Jerry's mother, Ellen, the entire add-on, including bedrooms, was consumed in flames and totally destroyed. Ellen and Gerald senior live across the street from Jerry's home.
Walker said it took the firefighters more than four hours to put the fire out. "It was a tough fire, and it was cold," said Walker. "Whatever water did not get on the fire, froze."
Walker said the fire had apparently started in the two-story add-on, traveled through the crawl space, down a stairwell and into the modular home. "The whole structure was destroyed," explained Walker. "The floor and trusses were compromised and one of the firefighters actually fell through the floor."
Along with the freezing temperature, Walker said much of the problem in putting out this particular fire was due in part to the large amount of insulation in the attic. Walker explained that while blown-in cellulose acts as fire retardant, in a fire like this, it often smolders and then flares up again.
It did just that on Sunday morning, causing the firefighters to come out once again to battle the fire.
"Thankfully," said Ellen, "no one was at home and the dogs all got out safely." She explained that Jerry and his family were on their way to Grand Junction when the fire started.
The area where the home is located is zoned for residential and businesses that are compatible to residential neighborhoods. A neighbor closest to the fire pointed out how close the fire was to the LP gas tank in the Huggetts' back yard.
Another neighbor, Ronn Brewer, said flames were coming out from under the roof and that it looked to him as if the entire structure had been "gutted" and seriously damaged by the fire.
Walker confirmed that no one was at home and no one was injured and that all the dogs got out and were found safe. There is concern however over the cat. According to Tammy Huggett (Jerry's wife), the cat has yet to be found.
Walker said the cause of the fire is undetermined.
Walker then praised the volunteer firefighters for their professionalism and service to the community and their dedication to protecting area residents. "They are so awesome," said Walker.
The Huggetts want to thank everyone involved in helping to put out the fire and have pitched in to help, including the Red Cross and Howard Johnson for providing them with a place to stay and all the volunteer firefighters who responded so quickly to put out the fire.
They also want to especially thank Richard Belden, who after reporting the fire, called them to let them know what was happening.
Jerry also praised his golden lab as the "hero" who led the other two dogs safely out of the house. He said the family is still looking for and have high hopes of finding the cat.blog comments powered by Disqus