Officials still investigating the fire that destroyed a home in Old Snowmass
This is an ongoing story that was last updated Tuesday, June 14 at 4 p.m.
Two people are still unaccounted for and one person is injured after a home burned down in the Shield-O-Mesa area of Old Snowmass early Monday.
The Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Authority and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched at about 2:15 a.m. after a neighbor called to report the fire at 655 Monastery Cutoff Road.
"The first arriving firefighters reported that two structures were involved, with one structure 50% consumed and another structure 80% consumed," the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.
According to the sheriff’s office, there were four people staying on the property — the homeowner, his fiancé and two other adults.
One resident got out safely, but another suffered injuries while trying to rescue the two adults who were believed to be sleeping on the upper level of the home.
Parker Lathrop is the public information officer for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s office.
"At this time, we have very strong indications they were in the structure at the time of the fire, and we know looking at what's left, there was no chance of survival in that fire. We don't have any hope of finding them alive in the structure," he said.
The coroner’s office hasn’t yet officially declared the two dead.
The resident who attempted the rescue was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital for treatment and then to another facility.
The fire, which spread to surrounding vegetation, required a wildland fire response. Crews are continuing to monitor the property due to high winds in the area.
As of Tuesday, the remains of the structure were still too hot for investigators to enter—but Lathrop says they're looking at the periphery of the structure.
"You start looking for different areas of more complete burn, and so you can start developing this picture of which area shows the most damage or shows the highest heat, and then develop back: what was there prior to the fire?" he says.
He says they’ll likely be able to get to the center of the structure later in the week.
Local and state officials are collaborating to investigate what caused the fire. Lathrop says that includes the county, Roaring Fork Fire, the state Division of Fire Prevention and Control. He says the coroner's office is also providing resources.
"It's big, and it involves a lot of resources," he says. “We want to make sure we do this investigation, and those who may have been victims of [the fire], justice in determining the cause … It is a huge effort but it’s a very justified effort.”
Local authorities have not yet released the names of the survivors—though friends of the two who survived have set up a GoFundMe campaign to "assist them during this incredibly difficult time."
Aspen Public Radio has reached out to the Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Authority for further details but has not heard back yet.