Investigators suspect explosion was suicide attempt | CraigDailyPress.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Investigators suspect explosion was suicide attempt

Matt Stensland

Investigators search through what remains of a camper that exploded May 31 at Eagle Soaring RV Park.
Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs — Investigators think a man was trying to take his own life when he blew up the RV he was living in at Eagle Soaring RV Park west of Steamboat Springs. — Investigators think a man was trying to take his own life when he blew up the RV he was living in at Eagle Soaring RV Park west of Steamboat Springs.

— Investigators think a man was trying to take his own life when he blew up the RV he was living in at Eagle Soaring RV Park west of Steamboat Springs.

Routt County Undersheriff Ray Birch said the 54-year-old man came to the area recently from Florida and had been staying at the RV park since May 8. His wife had been staying in the Steamboat area and was not at the RV park when the explosion occurred about 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Former Routt County Sheriff John Warner helps manage the RV park and was sitting outside with his wife when they heard and felt the explosion.

Warner turned off propane tanks before pulling the man from the blaze.

“It’s a pretty awesome thing he did,” Birch said. “He just kicked into action and pulled this guy out from the rubble.”

An off-duty firefighter who lives in the area and a border patrol agent staying at the campsite helped Warner.

Two dogs died in the explosion.

The man was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center and flown to University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora with burn injuries Tuesday night. He was listed in stable condition Wednesday. Birch said there was no indication the man had other self-inflicted injuries.

Birch said that, on the way to YVMC, the man told firefighters he had tried to commit suicide.

Firefighters and investigators kept their distance from the fire, because they did not know if there were other explosives in the camper or the man’s nearby truck.

The Jefferson County Bomb Squad and a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent arrived Wednesday morning to help with the investigation. Birch said the man described a specific compound he used to make the explosive device, but Birch did not want to release more information until it had been positively identified.

Investigators and firefighters were scouring the area Wednesday for evidence, which was scattered up to 200 yards from the blast.

“Fortunately, the RV park wasn’t full,” Birch said.

No other injuries were reported, and no one had reported damage to their campers.

Investigators obtained search warrants Wednesday morning before searching the truck and what remained of the camper.

The man could face a felony arson charge.

“This appears to be an intentional act,” Birch said.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStenslandTo reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.
 

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User