Monday, January 6, 2003
Steamboat Springs A fire destroyed an indoor riding arena northwest of Steamboat Springs Sunday morning.
The blaze was out of control when firefighters from the Steamboat Springs Fire Department arrived at Wolf Run Ranch on Twentymile Road.
"When (we) arrived on scene, it was pretty involved," Assistant Fire Chief Bob Struble said. "It had a really good head start on us."
No one was hurt and no people or animals were inside the arena when the fire broke out.
Fire Marshal Jay Muhme, his fire prevention staff and insurance investigators are examining the cause of the blaze, which has not yet been determined.
Scott and Tricia Flower manage the ranch. The couple lost many items in the blaze, but they are grateful that people and animals were spared.
"We feel fortunate," Scott Flower said. "It's just stuff. Stuff can be replaced. But it was a lot of stuff."
The exact amount of their loss is still unknown.
The arena stored many items during the winter. The Flowers lost a pickup, farm equipment, sleigh, motorcycles and patio furniture.
The arena housed 27 stalls and a tack room with 15 saddles. The horses were never endangered because they were out in the pasture.
Flower reported the fire at 7:43 a.m. He said he didn't notice the blaze until he walked outside and saw smoke and flames coming from the arena.
"It was such a foggy morning, I assumed everything was fog," he said.
Ten firefighters, two water tenders and one engine responded to the blaze. Struble said he and Flower quickly determined the arena was not salvageable.
Neither Struble nor Flower wanted to jeopardize firefighters' safety.
"It wasn't safe to even think about putting firefighters inside," Struble said. "It got to the point where we let the fire go. There was no way we were going to stop it."
The 96-by-120-foot arena, though constructed of metal, fell to the ground within an hour.
"It's amazing how fast it went," Flower said. "You'd think a big metal building wouldn't burn."
Firefighters turned their efforts toward saving nearby structures. A barn filled with 20 tons of hay is about 50 feet from the arena.
The fire damaged no buildings on the ranch, Flower said.
"We'll have to work our way back," Flower said. "You wake up this morning and hope it's just a bad dream."