It was an alarming sight Friday for people living near Cheyenne Mountain: a large plume of smoke billowing above the Broadmoor, emergency lights flickering as crews scrambled to put a fire out.
In the end, the fire was small, burning only 1/10th of an acre, and firefighters were able to squelch it quickly. But for residents in the area, with the Waldo Canyon Fire still fresh in their minds, the fire near Old Stage Road made for some anxious moments Friday afternoon.
"We know that the fire danger is pretty high and I know there were a lot of phone calls among neighbors and notifying each other of the incident this afternoon. So we're pretty much on edge," Mark Owen told 11 News.
Others told 11 News that the Waldo Canyon Fire was a harsh reminder of just how close those on the west side of Colorado Springs live to the forest.
"We even pay attention to smells when we come out with the dogs or go on a walk...you have heightened awareness," Dede Schuck said.
At this time, investigators are looking into whether the fire was accidental or intentional. What they do know is the fire began as a vehicle fire and then spread to nearby grass and trees. The car reportedly went off the side of Old Stage Road around 4:15 p.m. and landed on a steep hill about 50 feet below the road.
Fire crews found the car, which is being held as evidence, but were unable to find the driver--or anyone nearby. Because no one was located, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office is calling the fire suspicious. Investigators are returning to the scene Saturday to gather more evidence.
Even though it's early in the investigation, just the possibility that the fire was arson is upsetting for those living in the area.
"It's very scary and I wonder what people are possibly thinking, that they would even try or attempt to do something like that," Schuck told 11 News.
If you know anything about this fire, call Crime Stoppers at 634-STOP.
11 News is staying on top of this investigation, and will bring you all updates as they are made available.
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