Arson is the suspected cause of a fire that broke out early the morning of July 8th. The 911 call came into dispatch at3:50 am and the Paonia Fire Department, Paonia Police Department, North Fork Ambulance and Delta County Sheriff’s Department were dispatched to a fire that was reported at theApple Valley storage sheds onPan American Ave. in Paonia.
The fire was reported by neighbors, Wendy and Brian Peterson, who awoke to the smell of smoke. After calling in the alarm, Brian attempted to extinguish the flames using irrigation water and a garden hose, plus a fire extinguisher but his efforts were not successful.
When the police department and fire department arrived, fire was observed coming from storage units located on the northwest end of the building. According to police chief, Scott Leon, “While firemen were attempting to extinguish the fire, a smoke explosion occurred, which caused the roof to rise up and the cinderblocks to fall outward from the building.”
After the fire was extinguished, members of the police department and the Paonia Fire department began a preliminary investigation in a storage unit that was in the area of the origin of the fire. The unit appeared to have been forced open.
Paonia Police Department requested the assistance of Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s Arson Unit. The CBI K-9 Arson unit responded to the scene and the fire is being investigated as Arson.
No injuries were sustained during fighting the fire. The single storage facility consisted of 38 units and the renters of those units have been forced to relocate their belongings. One of the owners of the building, Steve Rieser, was on-scene and declared, “the building is totaled” and as of early Thursday morning, crews were in the process of demolishing the structure.
Anyone with information about this fire is asked to contact the Paonia Police Dept at 527-4822 or Crime Stoppers at 874-8810.
Tags: Paonia Fire