Montpelier - At 1:56 am on Sunday, February 27, 2011 two Montpelier police officers discovered water coming from 818 Washington St. While investigating the water leak the officers observed an unusual amount of smoke coming out of the chimney. Both officers have had fire training and one of the officers is also a volunteer firefighter for Montpelier Fire Department. The officers quickly determined the structure was on fire on summoned fire to the scene.
Montpelier Fire department responded and were supported by Bear Lake County Fire. According to Montpelier Fire Chief, Steve Higgins, the building was fully involved when fire arrived.
Firefighters concentrated their efforts on putting the fire out and saving the Bear Lake Memorial Hospital Counseling Center which was attached to the burning building.
The building was a vacant three story structure and is a complete loss. The
firefighters were able to save the counseling center. Both the police chief and
fire chief attribute this to the timely discovery of the fire by the police
officers and the hard work by the firefighters working in difficult conditions
with temperatures right around zero. According to Chief Butler, “If the fire
had gone on unnoticed much longer it would have spread to the counseling and we
would have lost that building too.”
The cause of the fire is unknown and investigators from the Montpelier fire and police departments are investigating.<span style="font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"" />