Fire investigation continues
December 9, 2020
Little information is available as to the cause of a fatal house fire over Thanksgiving weekend that claimed the life of a Green River resident as investigators continue to look at the remnants of the home.
Assistant Fire Chief Larry Erdmann said two fire investigators representing USAA, he family’s home insurance company, and a state fire investigator will be attempting to determine more information about the fire during follow-up investigations. Erdmann said they believe the fire started with the home’s furnace, but further facts about the fire have yet to be determined. He also said the continued investigation is not due to suspected criminal activity.
The property, located at 1610 Idaho St., has been boarded up to prevent people from trespassing and looking into the structure. Erdmann said trespassers isn’t often a problem with burned structures, but the walls and supports holding the home up are significantly weakened, which could result in someone being injured if they decide to sneak in. Erdmann said the insurance investigators have noted a concern about the structure’s stability and asked the fire department to shore up the home until their investigation ends. Erdmann said once that concludes, the home’s remnants will be torn down.
The fire took place early Nov. 28, with firefighters being dispatched to the home at 5 a.m. Four of the home’s five occupants were able to escape the blaze, but a fifth person, Elizabeth Andrews, was unable to get out. This caused firefighters to focus their attention on the portion of the home Andrews was at while letting the rest of the home burn. Andrews was recovered by firefighters, who were then able to extinguish the fire within an hour.
Erdmann said the fire was part of a busy four-week period for the department as firefighters were called to four “significant structure fires” within that period. Including an apartment fire occurring last weekend and the Idaho Street house fire, he said the GRFD was dispatched to another fire on Midwest Street and at the Genesis Alkali facility.