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Unattended Candle Blamed For Destructive Fire At Historic Home In Morrison

MORRISON, Colo. (CBS4) – Firefighters say an unattended burning candle is to blame for a fire at the Horton House Bed and Breakfast in Morrison early Thursday morning.

The building, located at 105 Canon Street, caught fire around 5 a.m. Light smoke could be seen blowing off the building and flames coming from the roof.

West Metro Fire said renovations in the attic made it difficult to reach the burning attic, and required chainsaws to access.

Flames and smoke were put out by 6:30 a.m. but there is still work to be done to extinguish smaller, hidden fires.

The building suffered damage including a partial roof collapse toward the back and is likely a complete loss.

“It’s extensive; there’s multiple renovations and layers of roof, so the fire itself has burned into the attic space and we have some fire down in the basement,” Dan Pfannenstiel with West Metro Fire said.

Several people lived in the building but all got out without injury.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The Horton House Bed and Breakfast is owned by 78-year-old Lila Horton. The historic house is the former home of Morrison’s turn-of-the-century country doctor, Dr. Frank Luce. Much of the property has been preserved since it was built in the 1870s. The bed and breakfast was filled with all kinds of antiques.

“It’s my mother’s dream house, she’s lived here all her life,” Lorene Stadig said.

Horton does not have insurance so a GoFundMe page was set up to help with the extensive losses and people have already started donating.

Horton told CBS4’s Suzanne McCarroll she doesn’t know what she’s going to do now because her home was her business. In the back of the home was a ballroom where Horton also taught dancing.

“I lived there for nine years, I took care of the place, I built a ballroom in the back,” said John Shockley, who also says he’ll happily help the family rebuild.

It seems everyone in Morrison has a connection to Horton, and the building.

“I talked to Lila about gardening, I bring her all my extra zucchini and squash and everything else from our neighbor’s yard,” a neighbor said. “It’s just a really close, tight community … hopefully we can all rally and help her out and try to figure out what she needs from here to go forward.”

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