Firefighters with the North Summit Fire District respond to a house fire in Tollgate Canyon on Tuesday. The cause of the blaze is being determined and the
Firefighters with the North Summit Fire District respond to a house fire in Tollgate Canyon on Tuesday. The cause of the blaze is being determined and the estimate of belongings lost is between $15,000 and $20,000. (Photo courtesy of Alan Powell)

A fire Tuesday afternoon engulfed a home in the Tollgate Canyon community, although the homeowners were out of the county at the time of the blaze. The North Summit Fire District responded to the fire, the cause of which is still unknown, according to a NSFD release.

Crews from NSFD were dispatched to the fire at 2063 Valley Vista Drive at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, after a neighbor noticed smoke emanating from the home, the release said. No individuals were present inside the home, and firefighters immediately began to ventilate and fight the flames.

Due to the fact that Tollgate recently received a considerable amount of heavy snow, the nearby fire hydrant was buried and crews had to dig to gain access to it. The fire was able to be contained to three rooms and burned from the basement through to the main floor, causing a partial structural collapse, according to the release.

The home was valued at roughly $170,000. Belongings were valued at between $15,000 and $20,000, according to the release. The homeowners were informed by the Summit County Sheriff's Office of the fire and the damage caused.

NSFD spokesman Tyler Rowser said the cause of the fire is still unknown, although investigators from the State Fire Marshal's Office were scheduled to visit the scene on Wednesday to determine a cause.

The NSFD release went on to stress that, as the Tollgate community has received heavy snow of late, it is crucial that fire hydrants near homes are cleared of snow and other obstructions.


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Rowser said many people think the fire district is "joking," but maintained doing so is paramount.

- Aaron Osowski