Heat lamp suspected cause of fire

Sheriff's investigators wrap up probe into blaze that destroyed a modular home

Moffat County Sheriff's investigators suspect an infrared heating lamp caused a fire that destroyed a modular home Friday.

Sheriff's investigator Jeremy Ashton said a possible point of origin has been identified toward the rear of the home, near a multi-purpose storage room where ammunition was apparently stored.

The fire -- reported shortly before 1 p.m. -- set off ammunition rounds as Craig firefighters worked at the scene.

Chief sheriff's investigator K.C. Hume said the heating lamp -- which was in use while sitting on a cage that held baby ducks -- either shorted out or fell from its mounted position, starting to the blaze.

The ducks, along with a family dog, died inside the home.

Hume said arson isn't suspected and his department's investigation is closed. Still, an arson investigator with the home owner's insurance company was scheduled to look over the scene Monday at 1536 Moffat County Road 22.

Don Erikson, who lived on the property with his wife, a daughter and a son, owned the modular home.

Fire officials valued the modular home between $80,000 and $90,000.

Craig Fire Chief Roy Mason has said Erikson reported the fire using his cellular telephone while returning home from Craig.

Fire crews arrived finding the home engulfed in flames that had swept from the home's rear to the east and consumed a front-porch area -- all within roughly 15 minutes of Erikson's phone call.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at pshockley@craigdailypress.com

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