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Investigators: Riva Ridge fire cause 'undetermined'

Post Date:12/27/2017 12:00 PM

A Poudre Fire Authority investigation found the cause of a Dec. 8, 2017, fire involving two Fort Collins homes to be undetermined.

Investigators, following a time-intensive and scientific process, determined the fire started in the area of a loveseat located in the side yard between two homes on Riva Ridge Drive. Burn patterns indicate the fire traveled to a fence and ultimately spread to two homes, at 3532 and 3538 Riva Ridge Drive, causing significant fire and smoke damage to each structure.

The fire displaced a total of seven people who lived in the two, separate single-family residences. Smoke alarms in the two-story homes went off and prompted residents, at home at the time of the fire, to evacuate. One firefighter suffered a minor injury during the response; theirs was the only reported injury.

The initial 911 call about the fire came in at 8:12 p.m., and PFA’s first-arriving crews got on scene minutes later. They made quick work of the attack and extinguished the fires at both homes.

A member of PFA’s Customer Assistance Response Team (CART), along with a representative from PFA’s partners at the Red Cross, responded to the incident to help the residents of each of the homes.

As part of this incident, a PFA drone was deployed and flown above the homes to document the scene. It is part of the Larimer Unmanned Aircraft System program, a multi-agency team of federally licensed pilots who use drones in emergency incidents (visit for more information).

The footage it collected gave investigators a good aerial look at the fire patterns. This saves time and money. Before PFA’s drones were available, one of PFA’s towers – the vehicle with the extendable ladder – would park at the scene, allowing investigators to take photos from above, providing another perspective from which to analyze a fire. 


Those with questions may contact: 

Madeline Noblett

Public Affairs and Communication Manager

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