Firefighters have put out a house fire in Pueblo and say the water heater was to blame.
The fire started inside an attached garage of a home in the 6100 block of Muddy Creek Road in the Hatchet Ranch area. The homeowner's daughter tried to put the fire out with two small fire extinguishers but was unsuccessful. She called 911 at 08:50 a.m. to report the fire as they evacuated the home.
Firefighters say when they arrived, they found a utility closet on fire in the garage, which was attached to the home. The firefighters say they were lucky that the fire didn't get worse than it was, and were successfully able to knock it out.
Normally, the Pueblo County Emergency Services Bureau Fire Team handles wildland fires. Bureau Chief Mark Mears says, they don't have the training or equipment to tackle large structure fires. "We'll try to put out the fire, but again, we are not a structure fire protection department. We're a wildland fire response team," says Mears.
Because the fire was relatively small, the ESB Fire Team decided it was safe enough to attempt to put it out. Mears says he was glad the team was able to help save the home but was adamant that those outside a fire protection area, like Hatchet Ranch, understand they are not provided with structural fire protection. "This was an isolated incident. Our fire mission is to prevent the spread of wildland fire. It is what we are equipped to handle and what we train our volunteers to respond to. In this case, the home owner was extremely lucky the fire didn't spread out of control or [they] would have lost [their] house and we would have been forced to watch. In these areas, prevention, mitigation, and preparedness by the home owners are key," says Mears.
Homeowner, Glenn Law, says he learned that valuable lesson today. "I would rethink our readiness inside the house, certainly with fire extinguishers," says Law. He also says, it's important to have a plan when you're living in an area unprotected by a fire department.
Law's family had a plan, though he admits it was not as good as it should have been. He says, that plan is getting upgraded now that this has happened.
No one was injured and the home is still livable.