Two fires in three months at address east of Durango

Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017 10:27 PM
Scot Davis of Durango Fire Protection District walks through the remains of Enrique Rubalcava’s home, which was destroyed by fire June 12 east of Durango.

Firefighters are investigating a fire that scorched a rubbish pile early Wednesday east of Durango – the same location where a shed and house burned three months earlier.

The fire was reported at 2:27 a.m. at 20 East Pine Ridge Road, northeast of Elmore’s Corner. A caller reported hearing explosions, possibly from small Coleman propane tanks inside the pile, said Scot Davis, spokesman with the Durango Fire Protection District.

The trash pile consisted of partially burned materials from an earlier fire at the same address, Davis said. That fire was reported at 4:41 a.m. June 12, when a shed caught fire and spread to a mobile home and surrounding wildland. The home was destroyed in the fire.

The property owner apparently piled up debris from the previous fire, which is what caught fire early Wednesday, Davis said.

The cause of the most-recent fire remains under investigation, he said. He ruled out the possibility that some of the materials in the debris pile were still hot from the fire three months ago. It is possible something in the rubbish pile, such as rags, spontaneously combusted, he said.

Davis acknowledged it’s somewhat unusual to have two fires in three months at the same address.

“It’s definitely cause for investigation,” he said.

If the fire was intentionally set, whoever did it could face charges of arson, he said.

About 25 people responded to Wednesday’s fire.