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Close Call at the Lower Carriage Hills Gate

Bob Olliver's picture

On Sunday, May 6, at about 7:15 AM a fire was reported to 911 just behind the Carriage Hills gate. A quick response by Boulder Mountain Fire and Boulder Rural firefighters quickly doused the fire. You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief. The dry winter has everyone on high alert.

After any fire is put out, its cause is always investigated as part of mopping up the scene. What started this fire? The night before, the electric gate had stopped working and people had to walk around the area where the fire was later found to force the gate open, so a human cause was suspected. However,

no specific cause could be pinpointed.

“Initially we could not find anything, but after racking my brain, I was back out looking to see if I could find,” said Chief Benson, who returned to the scene hours later. “When I traced the overhead wire, I was able to find a branch that was discolored next to some exposed aluminum wire with the sheathing missing. I initially had to get my binoculars to discover this, and with the help of Mr. Pedersen of Carriage Hills and Xcel Energy, we found the electrical wire had been shorting out, causing drop down into the duff below.” Cause located and confirmed.

Basic cause of fire: wires that had been completely burned through, caused by a long period of time rubbing on the tree branch.

The wires have been repaired, the branch has been removed and the gate is working again. We suggest you inspect your own electrical power lines to make sure the same thing isn’t silently happening to you. 

Xcel on the Job Chief points to the problem

In the trees Burned cable and branch 

Looking for the problem 

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