By Dillon Thomas
LIMON, Colo. (CBS4) – Seven area fire departments responded to a motel fire in Limon Saturday morning, which was described as the city’s largest fire ever.
The fire engulfed more than two-thirds of the First Gold Inn. The fire burned for nearly 24 hours.
Michael Villegas told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas he was the first person to call 911, reporting the blaze. He was across the street at work, when he thought the field behind the building was on fire.
“I saw fire about three, or four, feet going up from the roof,” Villegas said.
By the time the Limon Fire Department arrived on scene, the fire had grown out of control.
“Flames were spreading through the trusses, and we’re moving their way down the hall corridor,” said Tara Christie, Limon’s assistant fire chief.
“It was devastating. The flames were 40 to 50 feet high,” Villegas said.
The popular inn had a slow night, which may have been a good thing. Nobody was injured in the blaze.
“There were very few people here at the time. We are very fortunate,” Christie said.
Christie said the blaze likely originated in the center of the “U” shaped building and spread.
“Think about all the furniture, and mattresses. All the bedding, chairs, all that is combustible and doesn’t take that long for fire to get going,” Christie said.
Crews remained on scene throughout the day, Saturday, monitoring hot spots. Flames were seen heading into the night, in pockets of the collapsed building.
The fire grew so large and hot trashcans away from the building melted.
“We did what we could with what we had. We put our best effort to it,” Christie said.
Investigators have not determined a cause for the fire.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.