Sterling garage fire causes $75,000 in damage

Posted: Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Wayne and Debbie Dubnam's garage suffered an estimated $75,000 worth of damage after a fire ignited in an attached greenhouse and spread to the garage on Monday.

Central Emergency Services received the call around 9:39 p.m. that the Dubnam's detached garage was on fire at 32895 Midway Drive in Sterling. The first engine arrived within eight minutes, reporting flames at the rear of the 900-square-foot garage.

Fire suppression crews were able to remove a majority of the contents inside of the garage. Those items were placed in a protected area and covered with tarps.

Several items, including art work, exercise equipment and tools were stored in the garage, said CES Assistant Fire Marshal Brad Nelson. He said three "tarps worth" of personal items were salvaged, though that didn't even account for half of the contents inside the garage.

CES personnel removed the garage's ceiling, which contained burning cellulose insulation. Major fire damage to the wooden truss system was revealed upon the ceiling's removal.

The fire was declared "under control" within 23 minutes of the first responding engine and "out" with an additional two hours. Two engines, one ladder truck, one medic unit, five tankers, one heavy rescue truck and four command vehicles responded to the call along with 23 personnel.

The garage sustained major fire damage to the ceiling, truss system and rear where the fire originated. The attached 300-square-foot greenhouse and its contents were destroyed.

Two snow machines outside of the garage sustained damage in the fire. The Dubnam's house and nearby cabin on the property were not damaged.

Fire investigators determined the fire originated in the greenhouse, which caused the flames to vent through the roof. The fire then made its way to the exterior of the garage wall and entered the attic of the garage.

A heater unit was inside the greenhouse but it has not been identified as the source of the fire, Nelson said. The fire remains under investigation.

Mike Nesper can be reached at

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