Investigators Report Cause of Fatal Fire

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Ordway, Colo. (AP) A wildfire that left two firefighters dead, charred 8,900 acres of grassland and destroyed at least eight homes started in a trash and hay pile that had been intentionally burned but not fully extinguished.

Investigators with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation found no criminal acts and did not recommend charges for the private property owner. The fire started south of Ordway and ignited dry grass and debris under a wood-beamed bridge over a ditch on Colorado 96.

John Schwartz Jr. and Terry Devore died Tuesday when their fire engine drove into the ditch after the fire weakened bridge collapsed as they were rushing to the fire.

As firefighters battled the flames, another fire erupted from another intentional burn on private property about two hours after the first blaze erupted, Fire Information Officer Chris Sorensen said. No criminal acts were found there either, CBI investigators said.

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