Rio Blanco County Man In Hospital Following Suspicious Fire

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation Arson  team is in Rio Blanco County today, to investigate a suspicious structure fire at 23404 Rio Blanco County Road 5 in the rural Piceance Creek area 45 miles southwest of Meeker. When emergency personnel first arrived on scene of the fire last night, area residents were attempting to put out the fire which started in or near the front of the residence.  Fire units and a dozen Firefighters from Meeker Fire and Rescue responded to extinguish the fire which took several hours. Water tankers from private companies working in the area oil and gas fields were used to supply water to the fire department.  Deputies began searching for the home’s occupant, who was reportedly last seen on a hill top above the home.  He was finally located at 3:50 am Friday hiding in an irrigation ditch. The man, who was hypothermic, was transported to Pioneers Hospital and Medical Center in Meeker.  His condition is unknown.  Picture (courtesy of the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office) : The aftermath of the fire.  Click photo to enlarge