Fire Kills 3 In Southeast Colorado Town

Springfield Fire Under Investigation

Three people have died in a fire that destroyed a restaurant and an adjoining residence in the small town of Springfield about 200 miles southeast of Denver.

Baca County spokesman Chris Sorensen said a fourth person escaped without serious injuries.

The fire started in the Home Town Burrito at about 2 a.m., when the restaurant was closed, authorities said. The blaze was contained by 8 a.m.; however, fire crews remained at the scene most of the day to mop up hot spots.

The victims' names haven't been released. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Sorensen said four family members, including the restaurant owners, lived in the adjacent home. He said authorities haven't been able to locate the owners but said it was too soon to say whether they or their relatives were the victims.

Sorensen said he had no information on the family and didn't know whether the person who escaped the fire had lived there.

Mayor Jay Suhler said the restaurant owners were a husband and wife who lived in the home with their teenage son and the wife's mother.

"Everybody's shocked about the loss of life," he said.

The fire destroys the Hometown Burrito Restaurant.

He said the husband and wife were originally from Springfield and had moved back after living for some time in Pueblo, about 120 miles to the east.

Suhler said the restaurant was an older, wood-framed building that had been remodeled.

Authorities initially said two people died, but Baca County Coroner Robert Morrow said a third death was confirmed later. The Baca County Division of Emergency Management said that one person was treated for possible smoke inhalation.

No firefighters were injured, but one fire truck received some damage. Suhler said the heat of the fire melted the lights and broke the windshield on the town's only fire truck. He said a rural fire department in neighboring Prowers County has offered to loan Springfield a truck until the damage can be repaired.

Homes one block north and south of the fire were evacuated, but residents have been allowed to return.

Baca County Sheriff Steve Salzbrenner requested assistance from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to look into the cause of the fire. Baca County does not employ a fire investigator, resulting in the need for outside assistance. The Springfield Police Department and Baca County Coroner's Office are also assisting with the investigation.

Springfield, a town of about 1,400, is near Colorado's borders with Oklahoma and Kansas.

Print this article Back to Top