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Garage and home catch fire in Cortez

A garage and home caught fire on North Henry Street in Cortez Friday evening. There were no injuries. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)
Residents escape without injury at North Henry Street residence

Multiple fire departments responded to a structure fire in a northeast Cortez neighborhood about 5:30 p.m. Friday.

The fire at 937 North Henry Street burned a detached garage and spread to the residence, said Battalion Chief Charlie Borden of the Cortez Fire Protection District. The residents evacuated, and no one was injured.

A meat smoker was the suspected cause, Borden said, and high winds fueled the fire.

The garage was destroyed, and the back of the residence sustained significant damage. The fire was controlled about 6:30 p.m., and crews conducted mop-up until 8 p.m.

Multiple fire crews responded to a garage that caught fire Friday evening on North Henry Street in Cortez. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)

Nearby homes were evacuated, said Cortez Fire Protection District Chief Jay Balfour.

He said the fire district’s wildland fire crew surveyed the neighborhood to check for spot fires from embers that might have blown from the home. None were found.

“We avoided a disaster. The wind was a big problem,” Balfour said. “It was a tremendous team effort to keep it to one property.”

A ladder truck was deployed in case the fire spread to nearby structures. Crews doused the fire with water from a nearby fire hydrant and suppressed it in the attic before it spread to the rest of the house.

A utility pole also caught fire, and the line was de-energized by Empire Electric crews so firefighters could work safely, Balfour said. The pole was being evaluated for repairs.

A meat smoker was the suspected cause of a fire that burned a detached garage and a home Friday evening, according to the Cortez Fire Protection District.

Neighbor Jeanette Hart said she heard a loud boom then went outside and saw the garage engulfed in flames.

Balfour said the garage was a total loss and the back side of the home was badly damaged. It cannot be occupied until repaired.

Multiple agencies responded, including Cortez Fire Protection District, Lewis Arriola Fire Department, Dolores Volunteer Fire Department, Mancos Fire Protection District, Cortez Police, Southwest Health System ambulance, American Red Cross, Empire Electric Association and Atmos Energy.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the displaced homeowners, Brandon and Amie Reynolds.