A two-story outbuilding used as an art studio and storage burned to the ground Friday on the Florida Mesa southwest of Durango.
A huge column of smoke was visible from miles away as flames engulfed the structure.
“It was very easily visible,” said Karola Hanks, fire marshal for Durango Fire Protection District. “A number of people who are friends happened to call my phone and ask what’s on fire on the mesa.”
The fire was reported at 12:24 p.m. in the 400 block of County Road 220. The rural road was closed between U.S. Highway 550 and County Road 302 while firefighters ferried water to the scene.
A generator was used to power the building. The owners heard it running irregularly, and upon inspection, found it was on fire. Flames quickly spread to a roof or awning above the generator, Hanks said.
The owners filled pots and pans with water to try to douse the blaze but to no avail, she said.
Firefighters used 10,000 gallons of water to extinguish the fire.
“The whole idea is to keep it from spreading to anything else at that time,” Hanks said.
Los Pinos and Upper Pine fire departments also responded.