Colorado Springs, CO – On November 6, 2018, at approximately 8:20 p.m., the Colorado Springs Fire Department responded to a report of a structure fire at 4320 Star Ranch Road. The initial address crews dispatched to was on Regency Dr. which is to the north and approximately ¼- ½ miles north of the affected address. Engine 4 arrived at Regency Dr. and noted fire 8-10’ in length from a roof to the south of them on Star Ranch Road and declared a working fire. Fire companies were able to arrive in under 6 minutes to find a two-story, wood-framed, single-family residence with flames showing from the roof while all interior space remained clear of smoke. Because the fire was in the attic, there was no early warning to the family via smoke alarm of active fire or smoke.
All occupants and their dog were out of the house upon arrival of CSFD companies. The residents stated that they were in the kitchen and heard an unusual popping sound at or near the fireplace but were unable to figure what the noise was until the occupant inspected the exterior of the residence.
The commander of the incident initiated an offensive fire attack: strategic deployment of hose lines and hand tools to the roof, main level, and basement of the home as it was unclear whether the fire was traveling vertically, horizontally, or both directions. Crews were able to open the tongue and groove ceiling (which was covered by drywall and mortar finish) above the kitchen and living room areas which exposed approximately 25’ x 25’ of actively burning fire.
A second alarm was requested by the incident commander when firefighters on the roof communicated that a collapse was imminent which is a clear indication that more resources will be needed. All second alarm companies arrived but remained in level two staging throughout the event and did not engage in the firefight as roof collapse did not occur.
Fire investigators arrived at the scene, and after a thorough investigation, the fire was deemed accidental due to faulty chimney chase conduit. In simple terms, the pipe chase became disconnected and allowed heat and fire to escape into the attic space where the fire remained in the growth stage until firefighters intervened. Residents offered that after the 2017 windstorm in Colorado Springs they had contracted the rebuild of the chimney due to traumatic damage from the wind event.
There were no injuries to firefighters or citizens reported during this event, and the residents are displaced from the home until insurance and construction services can complete their respective duties for the homeowners. The American Red Cross was called to the scene to assist with the displacement and other first steps of “rebuilding” when unfortunate events like this occur.
The CSFD and the Chimney Institute of America (CSIA) want to remind all citizens that annual inspection of your wood burning fireplace is money well invested for the well-being of your family, pets, neighbors and, your home. Please follow this link for further information on wood burning fireplace safety: