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Fire in downtown Silverton is doused after 2 hours

Firefighters happened to be nearby doing street cleaning, which helped limit damage
A fire broke out about 6:35 a.m. Friday at Eagle's Nest Leathers in Silverton. Firefighters were quickly on scene and able to limit spread. (Courtesy of Michael Ackerman)

The town of Silverton may have avoided a large-scale catastrophe early Friday thanks to a bit of serendipity.

Firefighters were preparing to do their annual street wash when a volunteer firefighter saw a plume of smoke coming from a business near the corner of 12th Street and Greene Street, said DeAnne Gallegos, a spokeswoman for the Office of Emergency Management in San Juan County.

The Eagle's Nest Leather shop in downtown Silverton caught fire early Friday. Firefighters happened to be nearby doing their annual street cleaning and were able to prevent the fire from spreading to adjacent businesses. (Courtesy of San Juan County Office of Emergency Management)

“We were out prepping the streets since 4 a.m. and at 6:35 a.m. when we started the street wash, I turned around and saw a plume of smoke,” said volunteer firefighter Fred Fasching, in a news release issued Friday by the Office of Emergency Management.

Fasching alerted San Juan County Sheriff Bruce Conrad, who is also a volunteer firefighter. Conrad rode his motorcycle to the location and found the Eagle’s Nest Leather shop at 1152 Greene St. fully engulfed in flames, according to the release.

The firefighters immediately responded to the location and began a full fire suppression effort. The fire was extinguished in about two hours at 8:45 a.m.

Eagle’s Nest Leather sustained “extensive” smoke, water and fire damage, and an adjoining business, K & C’s Traders, sustained extensive smoke and water damage, according to the release.

Adjacent properties also sustained minor smoke and water damage, but the majority of the damage was contained to the 1152 Greene St. location.

The San Juan Fire Rescue firefighters happened to be doing street cleaning Friday morning and were able to prevent the Eagle's Nest fire from spreading to adjacent businesses. (Courtesy of San Juan County Office of Emergency Management)

The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

It was a stroke of good luck that firefighters were already in the area doing their annual street wash in downtown Silverton, Gallegos said.

“The firemen did an amazing job with immediately suppressing that fire, and we were lucky they were already on the street for the street washing and everyone was already ready to go,” she said. “So we had a lot of blessings with this.”

She said wind threatened to spread the fire, and reminded residents to be careful during fire season.

“Today is a red flag warning day for all of our communities, so we all need to be hyper-aware,” Gallegos said.

shane@durangoherald.com

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