Propane tanks explode, destroying four cabins above Horca

© 2017-Conejos County Citizen

CONEJOS CANYON — Awakened by one explosion and then another, Teresa Stapp went to the window of her cabin and saw flames near the Rocky Mountain Lodge, some 150 yards away.
Teresa’s husband, David, ran down to the fire scene and began helping out. Teresa said firefighters had been called and the Fox Creek fire engines were first on scene, followed by Antonito, then La Jara, Romeo and South Conejos.
The Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control was also there.
The Rocky Mountain Lodge is a long time Conejos County summer destination and is located at 7700 FDR 250 in the Conejos Canyon, between Horca and Platoro. David Stapp’s family once owned the business, according to reports.
Three propane tanks exploded, setting fire to four adjacent vacant cabins and authorities are still seeking the cause.
Teresa said there had been some bad weather, with lightning and thunder, but she couldn’t say that caused the problem. Other persons contacted believed a welder might have left behind a spark.
The ground was wet, so there was little chance the fire would spread, reports said.
Permanent residents were warned to begin spraying water on their cabins in case it spread or crossed the road.
Several community members used garden hoses to spray water over one cabin to reach another propane tank and were able to keep it from exploding until fire crews arrived.
Theresa said the Conejos River became a water source and that helped fire crews extinguish the fire quickly.
Dating back to the 1940s, the cabins had been renovated inside, but the exterior was the original logs, which had dried over the years.

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