Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

Fire takes life of Gunbarrel woman


January 18, 2018

At roughly 11:15 p.m. on Jan. 12, Boulder County 911 received a call for a structure fire at a condominium complex in the 7400 block of Singing Hills Drive in Gunbarrel.

Prior to the arrival of deputies and firefighters, neighbors in an adjoining condominium unit helped evacuate two women inside the unit that was on fire.

A 57-year-old woman who had been evacuated by her neighbors from a unit on fire collapsed a short time after her evacuation. Deputies and firefighters were with her and immediately began CPR.

Despite the immediate life-saving rescue efforts that were made, the woman was pronounced dead at the scene approximately 45 minutes after the fire was first reported. The other woman evacuated, a 19-year-old family member of the deceased woman, was unharmed.

By Sunday Jan. 14, the Boulder Rural Fire Protection District had completed its investigation with the assistance of the Boulder County Multi-Agency Fire Investigation Team (MAFIT), which includes sheriff's investigators.

The investigation determined that the fire originated within the deceased woman's condominium; however, at this time, the cause of the fire could not be found.

The MAFIT team concluded that the sliding glass patio door to the woman's condominium was open, at least partially, during the course of the fire.

When the woman and her daughter were evacuated by neighbors out the front door of their condo, the fire flashed over as a result of the sudden increase in oxygen to the environment when the door was opened.

The resulting ventilation-driven patterns from the flashover scoured all the initial fire patterns off the interior of the condo, rendering it impossible to definitively conclude where in the condo the fire started, and thus how it may have ignited.

The fire ultimately spread to the condominium immediately above the originating condo, and both units are considered a total loss and are uninhabitable. The adjoining condominiums sustained varying degrees of smoke and water damage, some more heavily than others. The fire scene was released back to the property management company and the insurance company earlier Saturday.

Sheriff's investigators are continuing to work in conjunction with both fire investigators and medical investigators from the Boulder County Coroner's Office to try and reconstruct what may have occurred based upon available evidence and witness interviews.

At this point in the investigation there have been no indications of foul play or that the fire was criminal in nature.


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