Press Release April 3, 2012
On April 1st, at approximately 3A.M., a grass fire was reported in the area of Yuma County Roads 12 and CC which is three miles North and one mile West of the town of Idalia.
Volunteer Fire Departments from Idalia, Hale, Armel, Joes, and Wray were called to fight the blaze. The fire started West of that intersection in a pasture grass field. The fire was generally contained in a shallow canyon and moved to the Northeast for about a mile. The fire was intensely fought throughout the day, but thankfully was contained to about a 200 acre area.
Shortly after firefighters arrived to fight the fire, it was discovered that a car was in the burn area near where the fire started.
Yuma County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived on scene at about 3:30 and found that there was the badly burned skeletal remains of an adult person in the burned car.
A Fire investigator from the Colorado Bureau of Investigations and a Crime Scene Investigator from CBI were called and responded to the scene for assistance.
At this time, it does not appear that this was a criminal act, but very likely an accident. The identity of the skeletal remains have not yet been confirmed, but there is evidence to suggest that the person was a resident of Florissant, Missouri. The Yuma County Coroner took possession of the remains and is having an autopsy done by a Forensic Medical Examiner to assist in confirming identity.
If you have any questions please contact Angel Earl at the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office 970-332-4805 or for interviews contact Sheriff Chad Day at the same number.
Press Release March 23, 2012
The Yuma County Sheriff’s Office has been notified of the results of the investigation done by YW Electric’s experts concerning the cause of the Heartstrong fire. It has been confirmed that a power line was broken by high winds and fell to the ground causing an arc of electricity and subsequently ignited dry grass causing the fire. YW’s safety equipment worked as it should have and killed power to the line after the arc. The system then notified the company of the broken line. The Sheriff’s Office has ruled out any criminal activity as a possibility for the cause of the fire.
Any questions please call Angel Earl at the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office 970-332-4805
Interviews can be set up with Sheriff Chad Day
Press Release March 22, 2012
For Immediate Release
Sheriff Day has been able to contact and visit with all three firemen who suffered injuries during the Heartstrong fire. The three injured fireman are Jennifer Struckmeyer , Damon Struckmeyer and Darren Stewart. Jennifer is still in critical condition and underwent some surgeries on her burns yesterday. It was reported that it went better than expected. Jennifer continues to fight heroically every day to heal from her injuries. Damon is undergoing outpatient treatment today as well for burns to his back and arms. Darin Stuart is not receiving any medical treatment at this time and continues to heal at home from facial burns.
To date the Sheriff’s Office has received preliminary reports of livestock loss to be around 40 to 50 head. The cattle were either killed in the fire or euthanized due to injuries suffered in the fire, however 300 to 400 head are still unaccounted for. The Yuma County Sheriff’s Office has asked all residents with losses to please call our office to report the amount of damage. The preliminary figure for property loss is at half a million dollars so far and expected to dramatically increase as farmers and ranchers are able to assess the damage. We continue to work with all the victims to get appraisals of damage. We do know that about 80 miles of fence will need to be replaced and the farmers and ranchers will need to condition their land against top soil blowing away from high winds.
The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation and the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office is working with electrical company experts to determine an exact cause of the fire. It does appear to have started due to an electrical spark of some kind.
The Sheriff’s Office has received many offers of donations and help from many businesses and organizations and are coordinate those with victims in need of assistance.
Please contact PIO Angel Earl- Yuma County Sheriff’s Office for further updates 970-332-4805
If you would like an interview with Sheriff Chad Day this can also be arranged.
Sheriff Chad Day