Fire guts Grand Lake shoreline home
Ryan Summerlin October 9, 2013
GRAND LAKE — Fire destroyed a large home on Grand Lake’s Buttram Point in the wee morning hours of Tuesday, Oct. 1.
Homeowner Randy Buttram said no family members were at the home at the time of the fire. His brother was staying at the home the past week, but he had left the day before, Buttram said.
Two neighbors to the property called 911 around 3 a.m.
Grand Lake sent an engine, tactical tender, squad and 10 firefighters, and Granby Fire sent an engine, a squad and two crews of mutual aid. When firefighters arrived, about half of the estimated 2,500-3,000 square-foot house was fully involved and progressing into the other half, according to Grand Lake Fire Chief Mike Long.
Grand County emergency personnel were also on-scene for support.
The fire still smoldered Tuesday morning, and Long said large equipment would be taking down interior walls to make the inside of the structure safer for firefighters to finish the work.
“It’s heartbreaking. It truly was beautiful,” said Buttram of the Grand Lake cabin. Buttram was reached at his Oklahoma home on Tuesday morning. He had heard of the news around 5 a.m. that morning.
The Grand Lake home had been in the Buttram family for five generations. A few years ago, the home was featured in the annual Grand Lake Arts Council’s Art & Architecture home tour.
The four-bedroom, two-level home plus attic space was built in the 1930s and had original plumbing installed by Gordon Spitzmiller, the son of a Grand Lake homesteader.
Buttram’s grandparents Frank and Merle Buttram acquired the summer home in the 1940s, at which time Frank Buttram, a 1930s gubernatorial candidate in Oklahoma and a pioneer in oil and gas exploration, became involved in negotiations on details of the Colorado-BigThompson Project, such as preserving the natural water level of Grand Lake.
No other structures had been threatened in the fire, according to Long, who said it was the first large structure fire of the year in the Grand Lake area. The home’s condition is considered “a total loss.” There is no word yet on the fire’s origin.