Weekend fires ravage family home, Cedar Mountain in Moffat County
September 19, 2017
CRAIG — One Craig family is without a home after a fire destroyed their residence in Shadow Mountain Village Saturday afternoon in the midst of a very busy weekend for Craig Fire/Rescue firefighters.
Crews also tackled a brush fire near Cedar Mountain Saturday, which charred 25 acres and was continuing to produce hot spots as of Tuesday.
Fire/Rescue received a total of three structure fire calls Saturday and Sunday and several brush fires, but it was the home of Harry and Sandy Herndon on Sequoia Avenue that suffered the worst damage.
"It's devastating, because, while there are some things you can replace, there's some things you have that you can't," Sandy Herndon said Tuesday. "We're just thankful that we weren't home, and nobody was hurt."
The Herndons were just over the hill at Moffat County High School watching granddaughter Hailee's volleyball game when someone told them their house was on fire.
The cause of the fire is still unknown, but it started on the exterior of the modular home and moved up through the eaves, ultimately spreading through the roof, said Fire/Rescue Battalion Chief Troy. The entire roof burned, and the east wall of the home was already starting to fall as firefighters were on scene trying to save the home.
"It's a total loss," Hampton said. "They probably could salvage some personal items but not a whole lot. The structure is unsafe to go in there at this point."
The Herndons, including granddaughters Hailee and Alexis Herndon, a 10th-grader and seventh-grader, respectively, are staying with family until they're able to find a new home. Family, friends and their church community took quickly to Facebook to organize support and gather donations for the family.
"We're just taking it one day at a time and trying to just get through it and make it work with what we can do," Sandy Herndon said.
Coincidentally, the Herndon residence wasn't the first structure fire crews were called to on Sequoia Avenue on Saturday. Hours before the destructive fire began — and completely unrelated to it — Fire/Rescue was called to another fire caused by a faulty furnace.
The furnace overheated and burned through a wall, damaging the wall, some cabinets, a sink and a bathroom.
Farther up the road, a fire took off in sagebrush and grass on private lands to the north of Cedar Mountain, initially threatening two structures, Hampton said.
Though that blaze is now fully contained, fire crews from Moffat County Sheriff's Office are still trying to dampen hot spots that continue to flare up within the perimeter of the 25-acre fire.
"With this wind, I'm still expecting some more calls on it, but it's just smoking, smoldering patches of sagebrush inside the perimeter of the fire," Hampton said.
Finally, Craig Fire/Rescue responded to a third structure fire Sunday at a townhome in Ridgeview, where a microwave shorted out. The residents were able to extinguish the fire before crews arrived.
The Bureau of Land Management took the lead on a lightning-caused fire burning on Bureau of Land Management land, dubbed the Duffy Fire, near Duffy Mountain on Saturday. Firefighters were able to contain the fire at 35 acres and are continuing to patrol for hot spots.
"Northwest Colorado is still really dry, and fires are still taking off," said BLM spokesperson David Boyd.