Durango Fire & Rescue Authority officials continued their investigation into the cause of a Sunday morning fire that partially gutted the Newman Building at Eighth Street and Main Avenue, but as of Monday afternoon, there was no estimate as to when the investigation will be completed.
Many of the building's tenants spent Monday assessing the damage with insurance agents. One of the offices damaged was one of four regional offices for U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Manassa. Although there are 29 counties in Salazar's 3rd Congressional District, Deputy Press Secretary Edward Stern said the congressman will maintain his Durango office, and only office equipment was lost in the fire. Stern said the district office serves as a place for constituents to contact Salazar and his staff.
"I want to sincerely thank the brave members of the Durango, Los Pinos and Upper Pine River Fire Departments for their efforts Sunday morning," said the congressman in a written statement Monday. "It is always sad when one of our treasured historic buildings catches fire, but thanks to their quick response, hard work and effective attack, my Southwest regional office suffered relatively little damage and my staff in Durango should be able to serve the community at full capacity in no time."
The three-story building, listed on the National Historic Register in 1979, is home to businesses including Joel's bar, Colorado Pongas pool hall and The Silk Sparrow clothing shop, as well as numerous offices.
Durango Fire & Rescue Authority Chief Dan Noonan said Sunday no one was injured in the fire. The building's exterior appeared almost unscathed.
In a statement Sunday, the authority said the cause of the fire was under investigation but appeared to have started in the void space above Joel's, where utilities feed the building. The bar is located on the ground level, facing west Eighth Street.