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Woman killed, man injured Friday evening in Archuleta County explosion and fire

Emergency responders stayed on scene into Saturday morning
An explosion and fire killed a woman, injured a man and destroyed a structure in Archuleta County on Friday evening.

An explosion and fire Friday evening in Archuleta County killed a woman, injured a man, destroyed a detached garage and damaged an adjacent home, according to law enforcement.

Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office deputies heard a “loud explosion” around 7:12 p.m. that sounded like it came from the Aspen Village subdivision behind Walmart, according to a news release from Undersheriff Derek Woodman.

Within moments, Archuleta Combined Dispatch “began receiving numerous 911 calls” about a blast at a residence in the 900 block of Cool Pines Drive, about 1,500 yards behind the Supercenter, Woodman wrote in the release.

One of the emergency calls came from the address where the explosion happened – the caller told dispatchers there were two people inside a detached garage that exploded and caught fire, according to the release.

Bystanders who saw the explosion pulled Fred Phillips, 72, of Shreveport, Louisiana, from the perimeter of the burning structure, according to law enforcement. County records show Phillips bought the property in 2007 for $1 million.

Phillips was conscious when bystanders pulled him from the blaze and said a woman was still inside the burning building. He suffered “severe burns and other related trauma,” was taken by ambulance to Pagosa Springs Medical Center then flown to a Denver-area hospital where he remains in critical condition.

Emergency responders pulled an unidentifiable female body from the debris Saturday morning, Woodman said in an interview. The Archuleta County Coroner’s Office is working to identify the person and notify her family, he said.

Firefighters were still at the scene of the explosion and fire as of 11:30 a.m. Saturday. The garage is “a total loss – complete destruction,” Woodman said. The adjacent home was damaged by the fire, but was unclear Saturday morning what the cost of the damage may be.

“It was an all night effort,” he said. “It (the fire) was down, then it would come back up. It was very hot.”

No foul play is suspected, Woodman said.


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