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The evening of Jan. 16 was a busy one for the Pagosa Fire Protection District.
Following what might be considered as a normal day of activity for the department, district personnel readied to respond to the report of a car accident before receiving word that their services were not required.
Then, at 4:59 p.m., came a dispatched call reporting fire at 602 South 5th Street, with smoke showing from all windows of a structure.
Twenty-two firefighters responded, with the first arriving at the scene at 5:04 p.m. with two engines, one aerial ladder truck and one rescue truck, said Duwane Ramey of the PFPD.
Incident command at the incident was performed by David Montoya and Manny Trujillo.
Ramey said the first floor of the house, an older home, was heavily damaged, with some damage to the second floor.
The home’s age was a challenge in fighting the blaze, Ramey said, with multiple layers of flooring and ceiling from remodels to the home.
“The crew did a very good job,” he said. “It’s an old house.”
Personnel worked to quell the fire until shortly after 10 p.m., Ramey reported, and returned the next day to investigate.
Ramey said the cause of the fire is currently unknown.
No one was home when the fire started, and it was determined at the scene that aid from the Red Cross was not needed.
But the house fire was not all the PFPD had to do Wednesday night.
During that incident, PFPD personnel responded to two other calls — a report of smoke at Airport Self Storage on Piedra Road, and a controlled burn still alight after dark on Fourmile Road.
Ramey said the smoke report at Airport Self Storage was caused by heat tape that melted through a PVC water pipe, adding that the water in the pipe helped to prevent a fire.
Upon arrival, PFPD crews determined that the smoke detectors in the area of the pipe were not working, causing Ramey to issue a reminder to residents and building owners to regularly check smoke detectors and ensure they are in working order.
Another call received during the South 5th Street house fire was a report of fire next to Fourmile Road north of Pagosa Springs, which was revealed upon arrival to be an improper controlled burn still going after dark.
According to the PFPD’s open burning restrictions, in addition to other regulations, open burning should take place only between sunrise and sunset, with, “Absolutely no burning after dark.”