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A home on Juniper Butte was a total loss after a fire July 3, which started on the exterior and spread.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - The residents of a home on Platiro Court on Juniper Butte, Leilani Platiro and Micah Bodenlos, were on vacation when a fire started in their home, and left it a total loss.The owners of a Culver area home were on vacation July 3, when a fast-moving fire destroyed their home on Juniper Butte.

According to Fire Chief Brian Huff, of the Jefferson County Fire District, firefighters were working on the Grizzly Mountain fire, just over the county line, on Monday afternoon, when the call came in, around 4 p.m.

'We responded to a structure fire at 5380 SW Platiro Court on Juniper Butte, which is southwest of Culver," said Huff, noting that the fire appeared to have started on the deck level of the exterior and spread up the exterior wall to the attic.

"As we arrived, the fire had already spread throughout the attic and approximately 50 percent of the ceiling/roof had collapsed into the interior of the home," he said. "We made an aggressive knockdown of the fire, but I consider the home a total loss."

Although the owners were on vacation, Huff said that their pets were all safe. Exterior property was not damaged.

As the fire department was mopping up the house fire, they were called to a third fire on the north end of the fire district, which was reported as a grass fire in a ditch.

"This fire was determined to be self-heating of organic materials," said Huff, who credited Jefferson County Undersheriff Marc Heckathorn with knocking down the fire before a fire crew arrived.

"The fire district had a brush truck and a duty officer vehicle continue to respond and finish mopping up the hot spots," he said.

"The fire district would like to remind everyone to be extremely careful with cigarettes around combustibles and all forms of open flame, including fireworks this summer," he cautioned, pointing out that Jefferson County Fire District has already responded to 19 fires this summer.

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