Bailey, CO – A large explosion rocked the center of Fairplay late Wednesday night.
At 11:40 p.m., firefighters were called to the home of Thomas L. and Pamela M. Debonis at 405 Main Street in Fairplay to investigate.
The explosion at the home, located across from the Fairplay Library, blew the front door of the house across the street onto the library ground, according to one firefighter at the scene.
Windows in adjacent buildings were shattered. Flames shot up three stories high, said the firefighter.
By 11 a.m. Thursday morning, the fire crew was still working to extinguish hot spots. The home was completely destroyed and authorities were investigating the cause of the fire.
The home is not the full-time residence for the family, according to Tom Debonis Jr., the son of the owners.
Mike Roll, fire chief for the Fairplay-based North-West Fire Protection District, said the explosion may have been caused by a propane leak, but the source was still under heavy investigation. There had been reports of a propane leak for the last two weeks at the home that were checked out and thought to be fixed.
Nobody was home at the time of the explosion and there were no injuries to firefighters battling the fire.
As of 3:47 a.m., the fire on Main Street (Colorado Highway 9) was reported contained, with additional flare-ups still continuing throughout the morning and afternoon Thursday. Firefighters used 330,000 gallons of water to put out the fire.
A press release from the fire district Thursday afternoon said that witnesses in the neighborhood had heard a loud boom and saw the flames when they went outside. North-West Fire responded with 15 firefighters and five engines, and aid was requested from the Jefferson-Como, Hartsel, and Red, White & Blue Fire Districts.
With that assistance 31 firefighters were on scene with eight engines, including North-West Fire’s newest engine, which was put in service six days prior to the fire. South Park Ambulance, the Fairplay Police, the Park County Sheriff’s Office, Fairplay Public Works, and the Colorado Department of Transportation also helped at the scene.