2 perish in Christmas Day fire in Craig | CraigDailyPress.com

2 perish in Christmas Day fire in Craig

Bridget Manley

Firefighters responded Christmas morning to a fire at a trailer, pictured above, in the 600 block of East Fourth Street. Charles Hurtt, 54, and Frances Burkleo, 63, were living in the trailer and died in the fire. Memorial services are pending.

A fire in east Craig claimed the lives of two Craig residents Christmas morning.

Charles Hurtt, 54, and Frances Burkleo, 63, died in a blaze that consumed their home in the 600 block of East Fourth Street. Beka Warren, Moffat County Deputy Coroner, said the official cause of death is under investigation.

Services are pending, Grant Mortuary reported Tuesday afternoon.

The fire was reported at 8:29 a.m., said K.C. Hume, Craig Fire/Rescue battalion chief.

Twenty firefighters responded with five apparatuses, including two engine companies, two truck companies and a rescue company.

Craig Police Department officers, Moffat County Sheriff's Office deputies and The Memorial Hospital in Craig's EMS service also responded to the scene.

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When firefighters arrived, "the trailer and the attached, enclosed wooden porch were fully involved" in flames, Hume said.

Heat from the fire radiated to an adjacent trailer located to the south, which was unoccupied.

"We cooled that structure," Hume said, and eventually contained the initial fire.

He said he did not know when firefighters contained the blaze, but said they cleared the scene at around 11:15 that morning.

The adjacent trailer sustained little damage, Lt. Matt Beckett said.

However, the trailer where the fire started was a complete loss, Hume said.

A Craig Fire/Rescue investigation attempted to piece together the circumstances that contributed to the blaze.

The investigation determined the fire originated on the porch of the mobile home and was likely caused by "the installation, construction or proximity of combustibles to a wood-burning stove" on the porch, he said.

However, given the extent of the damage, it's difficult to ascertain the cause with complete certainty.

"The enclosed porch was consumed in the fire," Hume said.

He stressed that residents must exercise safety when using any kind of heat source in their homes.

"Any time of the year that you have a heat source, you need to be conscientious of the surroundings," he said.

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