Central City firefighter saves residents

Barbara Lawlor
Gilpin County

Shortly after 6 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 8, Central City firefighter Cody Allen was on his way to work at the Gilpin County Recreation Center when he spotted flames coming from the roof of a home across from Severance Lodge. He called dispatch to send out the fire departments and began knocking on the door to get the residents up and out.
The A-frame was filled with smoke and the two occupants grabbed their dog and scrambled out into the fresh air. When they were safe, Allen grabbed a bunch of water bottles he had in his truck and doused the flames on the deck.
“And then I got out of the way and let Timberline firefighters do their thing,” said Allen.
Timberline Fire Protection District volunteers arrived en masse within 15 minutes and knocked the fire down. The cause is undetermined, but Incident Commander Ryan Roberts said it started in the basement ceiling and then burned from the inside out.
“That family is lucky to be alive,” said Roberts. “We are very thankful to Allen. There were no smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors. Allen woke the people up and helped save their service dog.”
According to Roberts, before the house ignites, smoke fills the rooms and often the Carbon Monoxide will make people fall into a deeper sleep.  He warns that smoke detectors only work if they are there.
The home was a complete save because of Allen notifying the fire departments before the building could become engulfed and because of the quick response of more than 40 firefighters. Nederland Fire Protection District showed up with three trucks, both Central City and Black Hawk showed up with one each and TFPD sent four engines and three tenders.
It could have been a tragic event. The wind was blowing hard going in many different directions. A spark could have set the grasses and trees on fire and then spread uphill into the subdivision.  Roberts said he was almost ready to call in the United States Forest Service firefighters to cut a line around the house, but it wasn’t necessary because of the quick work of the firefighters.
“I’m very glad we could save the house,” said Allen.