FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Ref. No. 036
Date: October 2, 2017
Press Release – September Responses
The end of September was a busy time for Pagosa Fire Protection District.
On September 28th, PFPD responded to a call for assistance to locate the smell of burning electrical wires. Residents of a single-family residence, located on Lewis Street, called 911 to report the smell. PFPD responded with two paid staff members, nine volunteers, two engines, and two command vehicles. La Plata electric also responded. Use of thermal imaging equipment and voltage meters revealed an overloaded circuit where a space heater had been plugged in. No damage to the structure was reported.
During the same time, PFPD was paged to a motorcycle accident on Piedra Road near mile marker 2.5. The accident, involving one rider, is still under investigation at this time. PFPD responded with two paid staff, ten volunteers, two engines, one rescue truck, two command vehicles. Two ambulances from Upper San Juan Hospital District and Archuleta County Sheriff’s Department also responded. Firefighters and medical personnel worked together to assist the patient who was transported to Pagosa Mountain Hospital and later airlifted from Steven’s Field to receive additional medical care.
On September 29th, PFPD responded to a report of smoke showing from a single-family residence on Hurt Drive, in the Aspen Springs subdivision. The residents were not home at the time; neighbors, who made the call to report the fire, were able to open an exterior door to allow some of the family dogs to escape unharmed. Upon arrival, the duty officer reported heavy smoke showing from all sides of the two-story building. Within moments, the fire self-vented making flames visible from the exterior. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the active fire, containing the majority of the damage to the upstairs master bedroom. The remainder of the residence received heavy smoke damage. The residents had a total of five adult dogs, two litters of puppies, and two lizards that were rescued from the structure by firefighters. One bird perished due to the heavy smoke conditions. PFPD responded with seven paid staff, 24 volunteers, two engines, three water tenders, and two command vehicles. Upper Pine River Fire Protection District responded with one engine, an air truck, two command vehicles and five personnel. Los Pinos Fire Protection District also responded with one engine and four personnel. Upper San Juan Hospital District responded with one ambulance along with Archuleta County Sheriff’s Department. One PFPD firefighter was transported and later released from Pagosa Mountain Hospital for minor injuries. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
The afternoon of September 30th, required the response of PFPD when residents on Echo Drive, located in the Loma Linda subdivision, reported a lightning strike near their home. The lightening was powerful enough to displace the phone junction box located on the outside of the structure and to cause a power surge which disabled a computer. Firefighters investigating the scene were unable to find any structural damage to the home.
That same storm proved destructive again when a direct lightning strike hit the radio repeater site antenna utilized by PFPD. The repeater system provides valuable a radio communication link between dispatchers and firefighters. Although the damage was extensive, PFPD staff have been able to make necessary repairs to establish clear communication to ensure firefighter safety. Permanent repairs will be made as new equipment is received.
# # #
Approved: Randy Larson