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Furnace smokes arts center

JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald

Durango Fire & Rescue Authority firefighters responded to the Durango Arts Center on Monday morning after the building filled with smoke and was evacuated.

By Jim Haug Herald staff writer

Smoke spewed from a malfunctioning furnace at the Durango Arts Center on Monday morning, but the furnace was shut down before it could catch fire or cause any damage, said Randy Black, battalion chief with Durango Fire & Rescue Authority.

“They caught it early enough to keep it from getting worse,” Black said.

Black said the incident of the smoky furnace serves as a timely notice.

“It’s a good reminder to always get your furnace checked this time of the year (especially) after they have sat over the summer,” said Black, alluding to a buildup of dust, debris and even beehives.

Black added that “it’s also a good time to make sure you have a carbon-monoxide detector in your house.”

No one was sickened or injured in the incident at the arts center.

“The smoke was dissipating once we were on scene, but it was our responsibility to investigate what happened,” Black said.

Eighth Street, between Second and Third avenues, was closed for 30 to 40 minutes from about 10:50 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. as firefighters climbed the roof of the arts center at 802 East Second Ave.

Firefighters asked the arts center to have the furnace checked before turning it on again.

Calls to the arts center for comment were not immediately returned.

jhaug@durangoherald.com

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