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Sheriff’s Office identifies man who died in mobile home fire; blaze was human-caused

Firefighters arrived to find structure engulfed in flames

The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office has identified the man who died in a last week’s mobile home fire as Benjamin Quintana, 37, of La Plata County.

The fire occurred June 9 at 440 County Road 232 in the Grandview area, southeast of downtown Durango. Firefighters arrived to find the mobile home engulfed in flames, and learned that a man was still inside. Quintana, originally reported by officials to be 39 years old, was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Two pets also died in the fire.

An autopsy showed Quintana died of smoke inhalation.

The fire originated on the mobile home’s exterior deck, where people would normally sit while outside, said Karola Hanks, fire marshal with the Durango Fire Protection District.

“We believe the fire originated in that area with human involvement,” Hanks said.

The fire entered the building through the front door, restricting people’s ability to exit the building, she said.

It was clear to investigators the fire was not caused by a cigarette or other smoking device. They believe the cause of the fire is drug-related, but investigators could not confirm or further clarify the cause until the toxicology report is available, she said.

Toxicology reports take about six weeks to process.

“We believe it was accidental in nature, not intentional,” Hanks said.

Twenty-one DFPD personnel, four engines and two medic units responded to the incident.

smullane@durangoherald.com

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