Flames destroy home in Hayden

Dog dies, but second pet saved in fire

— A fire destroyed a 3,200-square-foot Hayden home Sunday night.

Brett and Kay Brooks, who lived at the home at 39565 Routt County Road 37, were not home at the time of the fire, which also claimed one of the Brooks' dogs.

West Routt Fire Protection District Chief Bryan Rickman said firefighters saved a second dog found in the home's basement. That dog was taken to the veterinary and is doing OK, he said.

Rickman said he could not speculate about the cause of the fire, but he mentioned several lighting strikes were seen in the area Sunday night. Arson is not suspected, he said.

The fire appears to have started in the home's living room.

"It looks at this point that the house will be a total loss," he said.

West Routt firefighters responded to the fire at about 9 p.m. Sunday. Rickman did not leave the scene until 6:30 a.m. Monday.

Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue assisted West Routt firefighters by bringing a ladder truck, Rickman said.

Hayden resident Audra Holmes, who first reported the blaze, thought she was driving through a patch of fog before she realized it was smoke and called 911.

"It had been raining all day long, and I passed through what I thought was fog, but it was smoke," she said. "I looked up at the house and saw flames coming through the windows and the roof."

Holmes lives down the street from the Brookses, but does not know the family, she said.

"I called because I was worried there were people in the house," she said. "That was my main concern."

Char Mighton, a Brooks family friend and administrator for the Steamboat Springs Professional Rodeo Series, said she spoke with Kay Brooks on Monday night. The Brookses own Brooks Custom Saddlery and are heavily involved with the rodeo. Brett Brooks is a saddle bronc rider and the couple teaches saddle and barrel racing at their arena on the same property as their home.

"They have a lot of friends in Hayden and Steamboat Springs. I'm sure they're being inundated with offers of help," Mighton said Tuesday.

Attempts to reach the Brookses were unsuccessful.

Rickman said the fire is still under investigation.

The Hayden Police Depart-

ment and Routt County Sheriff's Office also assisted on scene.

- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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