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2/7/2013 Fire levels home on west side; family is okay

A home along Hermit Road west of Westcliffe burned to the ground Jan. 30.

More than 12 volunteer firefighters with the Wet Mountain Fire Protection District were called to battle the blaze, located about three miles west of Westcliffe on Hermit Road. 

The home burned to the ground, however, the Amish family who were living in the rental property were not home at the time. 

Authorities were notified of the fire on Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 1:35 p.m. A short time later, the local firefighters and six engines were on scene.

Fire chief Jerry Livengood said the house was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived on scene. “High winds out of the north west got a jump on us before we could get there,” said Livengood.

Therefore, the crews were tasked with pouring water and foam on it to keep the fire from spreading to nearby homes and pasture. 

Fire crews were on scene doing just that for five hours, keeping the fire contained to the home and small area of the yard surrounding the home.

Fire crews also returned to the scene of the fire for a few days following containment to check for hot spots. 

Livengood said his crew believes the cause of the fire was a bucket of ashes from the wood stove set outside that had sparked due to the high winds that day.

“A fire investigator from the homeowners’ insurance company will be on scene over the next few days to determine the exact cause,” said Livengood.

The family living in the rental home, William and Katie Troyer and their three boys Jesse 14, Timothy, 12, and Dwayne, 9, are living in a home in the Horn Creek area close to where they are currently building a house. That home was already under construction prior to the fire.  The family had moved here recently from Kentucky.

Since the family lost everything, an account to assist the Troyer family has been set up at Colorado Mountain Bank in Westcliffe.

Wilbur Yoder of Silver Cliff, who is assisting with the relief efforts, said the family does not currently need clothing or household goods, at least until they move into their new home. Financial contributions will be of the greatest assistance, he said.

The residential structure reportedly is owned by an unidentified Boulder resident. – Nora Drenner