Fire destroys two homes on Clay Street


Photos by Brian Williams The Monte Vista Fire Department contained a fire to two homes on Wednesday afternoon, March 8. The blaze destroyed the homes and left a family homeless.  

A family is displaced and being assisted by Red Cross 

MONTE VISTA — A fire in southwest Monte Vista destroyed two homes on Wednesday afternoon, March 8, according to the Monte Vista Police Department. A family was displaced by the fire and received assistance from the American Red Cross and victim’s advocates. 

At approximately 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, the Monte Vista Fire Department was notified of a residential fire in the 700 block of Clay Street.  

The fire was fanned by northeasterly winds and quickly spread, fully engulfing a stick home and a mobile home.  

MVPD, Colorado State Patrol, and the Rio Grande Sheriff’s Office assisted MVFD with evacuations and securing the area.  

Black smoke billowed from the fire into the mostly cloudy sky and could be seen for miles. People gathered on the edge of the incident as firefighters worked, taking photos, and shooting videos with their phones. 

Law enforcement stopped people and vehicle traffic from entering four at four intersections — Clay and Pennsylvania, Cass and Clay, Morton and Pennsylvania, and Cass and Morton. 

Less than an hour after putting water on the fire, MVFD had it contained to the two properties, preventing further damage or destruction, MVPD Chief George Dingfelder stated in a press release Thursday morning. Both properties were considered a total loss. 

MVFD had two engines on Clay Street dousing the blaze with water guns. A third engine was in the alley behind the homes and a fourth was on Cass Avenue. 

After the fire was knocked down, firefighters spent a couple of hours mopping up.  

The origin and cause of the fire have not been determined, Dingfelder noted. MV Fire Chief Pat Sullivan requested the assistance of Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) investigators to help determine the origin and cause. The Monte Vista Police Department is assisting in the investigation along with the 12th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Investigators were looking over what remained of the two homes Thursday morning. 

“It is too early in the investigation to determine whether this was accidental, carelessness or intentional,” Dingfelder stated. “That will be determined with the help of the state fire investigator. Once the investigation is completed, law enforcement and the District Attorney will review the information to determine whether charges are appropriate.” 

This is an ongoing investigation, and it will take time to determine the origin and cause of the fire, Dingfelder stated. 

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