An abandoned house on the northeast side of Boulder burned to the ground around mid-afternoon on Sunday. As of Monday morning, no injuries had been reported and the cause of the fire remained unknown.
Around 2 p.m. Sunday, firefighters from Boulder and Basin volunteer fire departments responded to a report of an "abandoned house on fire" at the intersection of East 2nd Avenue and Parsons Street, according to Boulder-Bull Mountain Volunteer Fire Department Chief Cory Kirsch, who is also a Jefferson County Commissioner. Firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading to adjacent properties and extinguished burning grass around the house, but the house was fully engulfed. On social media, Boulder residents described the house as being the "old Wade Lewis, Sr." place, and then, later, the Brekstad house. Online property records maintained by Jefferson County indicated that the property is currently owned by Troy D. Wood of Butte.
Montana City Volunteer Fire Department responded with a ladder truck, which was used to shower the house with water from above, after firefighters on the ground outside the house had knocked down most of the flames.
By 3 p.m., crews were mopping up hotspots within the rubble of the house, which had almost completely collapsed into its footprint.
Steve Carey, the assistant chief for Boulder, said via text message Monday morning that "with [the house] being completely destroyed, it would be hard to determine a cause. We have a point of origin with a possible cause, but again, we had to use equipment to clean up the debris so we could soak the hotspots," so it could be difficult for firefighters to definitively determine how exactly the fire started.
Carey wrote that that the house was full of trash, which allowed the fire to quickly spread throughout the structure, but "we were lucky there was not any trash around the house to hinder us from protecting nearby structures."
He wrote that this fire should serve as a lesson to homeowners to keep yards free of debris, store extra belongings in a separate outbuilding, and keep flammable materials in clearly marked containers and away from homes.