No injuries were reported in a small structure fire south of County Road G Wednesday afternoon.
A Montezuma County Sheriff’s deputy reported a “shop on fire” at 2:33 p.m. after seeing smoke while driving along U.S. Highway 160.
Multiple units from the Cortez Fire Protection District responded to the scene shortly after the report, arriving to a workshop with two garage bays that had caught fire near Road 23.6.
According to Fire Chief Jay Balfour, firefighters sized up the exterior of the building and quickly pulled a preconnected hose line to the door to begin knocking down the fire.
Because of the large amount of items stored in the building and poor visibility due to smoke, firefighters determined it was not safe to advance inside for fear of something falling down. They then cut another hole in the structure to get a more effective hose stream on the blaze.
The fire was largely under control within 30 minutes. Responders also began applying foam to the interior of the structure to help cool any smoldering materials.
Though the fire had been subdued, responders continued to work to get the remaining smoke out of the building.
Balfour was unsure how the fire started.
The building’s owner, Byron Hackett, said he was welding when the fire started. “Something caught on fire and I started smelling smoke and feeling that heat,” Hackett said.
While he did not know what exactly caused it, Hackett acknowledge there were many flammable items stored in the structure that had accumulated over the years. Hackett used the shed for storage and as a workshop, where he was working on restoring a Jeep.
“Everything was lit up,” Hackett said. “I tried running back and forth with water. I even used my little fire extinguisher for my Jeep. It didn’t do anything to the fire.”
Hackett was not injured in the incident.