Two house fires left residents displaced Sunday.
A water heater likely caused two explosions and a fire that seriously damaged a log cabin on County Road 501 near Vallecito in the afternoon, said Bruce Evans, fire chief with the Upper Pine River Fire Protection District.
The resident had noticed smoke in the morning. She was searching online for information about nearby wildfires, before realizing it was coming from her water heater. When she opened the door to the storage area that housed the heater, she saw flames and fled the house. She got out unharmed with her two cats before the explosions.
Firefighters with Upper Pine Fire responded around noon to the home and called a crew of firefighters with the Durango Fire Protection District to help.
By about 3 p.m., the fire was mostly extinguished, but it damaged the kitchen and a storage area. The resident, however, will not be able to stay in her home.
“It’ll need some remodel,” Evans said.
In Bayfield, fire damaged a home on East Oak Drive likely beyond repair, Evans said.
Upper Pine River firefighters arrived at the fire shortly after 5 a.m. and kept it from spreading to nearby houses, according to a news release.
Flames and smoke were emanating from most of the house when crews arrived, Evans said.
The husband and wife living in the house heard a loud pop before finding flames and heavy smoke behind the house, the statement said. But the cause of the fire is still under investigation. The residents and their two dogs escaped the fire without injury.
Firefighters with Los Pinos Fire Protection District and Durango Fire Protection District assisted.