Photo by Jerry Raehal

Country Mall Burns

Craig Rural Fire Protection District and West Routt County Fire respond to call



Fire at Country Mall

Fire at Country Mall

Fire at Country Mall


The Country Mall in Craig fire.


The Country Mall fire in Craig.

— Craig Fire/Rescue Chief Chris Nichols is calling the County Mall "a total loss" after a fire started at the Fourth and Ranney Street location Sunday night.

"It's one of the bigger fires we've been on since the downtown fire that we went on back in the 70s," Nichols said.

No one was injured. Nichols reported Monday afternoon that the investigation as to what caused the fire will likely not be complete until Tuesday.

Twelve offices are located inside the building, including Horizons Specialized Services, the Pregnancy Center, the Parole Office, a vet's clinic, some hair salons, among others.

No pets were reported to be in the vet clinic.

Craig Fire/Rescue was paged to the scene a little after 10 p.m., with West Routt County arriving later on a mutual aid call.

"When we arrived, the back one-third of the building was fully evolved," Nichols said. "It got up into the attic area and ran the whole length of the building."

At around 1 a.m., firefighters temporarily backed away from the fire to let the east side of the building burn out. Firefighters on scene said the fire was largely burned out by 4 a.m. The fire rekindled off and on throughout Monday. Firefighters are expected to clear the scene Monday evening, with Craig Police Department officers monitoring for fires overnight.

Check for updates as they become available. See Tuesday's paper for full story.


kmmcmur11 8 years ago

Will you please fix your website so that the pictures don't cover up the article....


Taylor 8 years ago

I didn't realize there were hair "saloons" in that strip - I may have missed a good time along with a haircut.

On a serious note - glad there were no animals or people injured. Guess the Chief got his wish afterall.


brian_titus 8 years ago

How come it took the firefighters so long to put out the fire? People lost their businesses in this fire. I fell that the fire department could have extinguished this fire a lot quicker and saved businesses. Can we depend on the Craig Fire Department on future fires???


parnelie 8 years ago

I think that the craig fire department did a wonderful job as to maintain the fire As to the building I was there just when the West Routt Fire Department got there and from that point I could see that the effort was going to be one of containment not salvage. I would like to think that the community would support the fire department. I have talked with a few of the occupants of the building and they are of the same opinion that it was a total loss from the time they got there. I would however like to point out that there was an attempted brake in at the furnature store just as the fire was being reported that has not made the news yet, Strange that there was no mention of that or the dumpster fier that was called in last night. Is there a link to the county shop fire also????


Taylor 8 years ago

No complaints here about the Fire Dept. I appreciate their service.

I hadn't heard about the attempted break in at the furniture store - our paper skips half the news in town...and lately space is being wasted on Steamboat stories. If I want to read Steamboat news, I'll go to the Pilot website. I also think there are an unusual amount of fires. I am eager to hear the cause of the 2 fires.


grannyrett 8 years ago

Whoa Nellie-Brian-Those guys put their lives on the line every time they go out on a call. You obviously don't know any one on the fire department. They do a wonderful job. As someone who has had a relatives house burn and has had a family member in the fire department, I know what a wonderful job they do. Never have they just stood by and watched as a fire burned. They are very dedicated members of this community. Kuddo's to every one of them.


smb92 8 years ago

I agree that the fire dept did the best they could and put their lives on the line. Not every story has a happy ending and I am sure the fire dept. feels heart ache too. They are every day people too that had friends and family that worked in the mall. I think instead of pointing fingers and being so negative about everything, we should all come together and help those who lost their businesses.....just a thought.


jb 8 years ago

I agree, the Fire Department did an excellent job!! I am very proud of our men and women firefighters. From what I understand the fire was burning pretty hot and fast and the Fire Department did an excellent job from stopping it from spreading. However, it is very strange to have so many fires so close together.


xrsareus 8 years ago


Unless you have walked in their shoes and know what you are talking about you need to keep your comments to yourself.

I know that Craig Fire/Rescue did everything possible to save that structure and are feeling down about the loss. I know what I'm talking about because I have walked in their shoes for 20 years and know that feeling of failure when a life is lost or the fire won.

The whole community should be proud of Craig Fire/Rescue and support them in every goal they try to achieve. They are putting their life on the line for everyone of us 24 hours a day.

Now Brian_titus, I feel you owe Craig Fire/Rescue a public apology for your comments on this forum and challenge you to apply next fall to become a firefighter since you think it is so easy. Come on see if you have what it takes::.

I also want to thank West Routt for the mutual aid, be safe brothers


gpb 8 years ago

Brian- Every year Craig Fire/Rescue has a membership drive inviting community members to apply to become a firefighter. Since you have such a vast experience and knowledge of how fire works, how it is affected by different building structures and many other variables, we would welcome your application during the next membership drive.
That particular structure fire not only destroyed businesses and had a lasting affect on many lives of our community members, it also put every firefighter's life in peril. Granted it is a risk we take but this fire could have hurt or killed someone. There were many firefighters in the burning buiding at various points making sure there was no one in the building and trying to find ways to save it. We feel the loss, like most community members, but in a different way. We are mostly sadden by the fact that we did our very best to save people's livelihoods and, in fact, failed in our mission. We work hard to ensure the safety of others and their property but also work hard to ensure the safety of each other so that each of us may return home from every incident to the arms of our loved ones.
So "Brian", next year, I invite you to put an application into the fire department and help us to fight fires "better" than you feel we are doing now. And I also hope that someday we are able to help you in your time of need and that you will be gracious enough to accept that help.


Zane Olsen 8 years ago

Brian_titus, everybody's still waits for your public apology!! I "fell" {feel} that YOU would have given your apology by now, because you are so fast, proactive and efficient . I have a son, brother in law, and several freinds in the fire dept. and have watched them work on fires before, like, one just a few hours before and believe me they don't just stand around and watch stuff burn. They saved several MILLION dollars worth of equipment on that one!! I feel for the businesses and people that are affected by this, but am more happly about the fact everybody came home SAFE the next morning. Not one thing in that building would have been worth a life or even a injury. Anyway if you get a chance say THANKS to a firefighter.


grannyrett 7 years, 12 months ago

Maybe we could all click on brian_titus name and send him an e-mail telling him he needs to apologize. Think he'd get the idea? Probably not.


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