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Body found in burned clinic is missing counselor

Posted at 12:30 PM, Jan 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-05 14:30:57-05

Authorities have confirmed that the body found in a burned office building is missing addiction counselor John A. Rutter.

The 55-year-old man was last seen at the Creative Treatment Options behavioral health care clinic on Saturday. The clinic is located near West 64th Avenue and Olde Wadsworth Boulevard.

Search dogs alerted authorities to a possible body Monday afternoon and investigators from Arvada Police and Arvada Fire located the individual.

“While this is never the outcome we hope for, we are grateful to the coroner for helping us to bring some closure to the family of John Rutter,” said Myles Heivilin, detective for the Arvada Police.

The fire started at around 10 a.m. Saturday.

Tammis Jahn, an office manager at CTO, told Denver7 four employees were at work on the day of the fire. Three of them ran in a group to get out.

"By the time we got out, it was black in the hallway, you couldn't see, couldn't breathe," Jahn said. "As we were going down the flames were coming up, so it happened within seconds." 

Rutter was a chemical dependency counselor. He was also a father and grandfather.

"[Rutter] did a great job with all his clients - one of the best guys I know," Jahn said.

Officials say they still have no idea as to what caused the fire, but the age of the building might have contributed to the hours-long blaze.

The building did not have sprinklers, Arvada Fire Protection District Deputy Fire Marshall Deanna Harrington confirmed. According to Jahn, no one heard a fire alarm, but they ran out once commotion started.

All clients got out. One person had a minor injury and was taken to a hospital for treatment. About 20 people were in the building at the time of the fire.

Jahn said the clinic helps clients with sobriety and domestic violence issues who are trying to get back into the community.

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