Fire Destroys Excelsior Plant in Mancos, Colorado
Photo by Tom AurnhammerMancos Fire Chief Tony Aspromonte at the Western Excelsior Corporation Fire
Photo by Tom AurnhammerCortez Fire’s Ladder Operating an Elevated Master Stream
Photo by Tom AurnhammerFire Extending Out of Bravo Side of Office Building
Photo by Tom AurnhammerCortez Fire’s Ladder and Engine Operating on the Alpha Side of the Offices
Photo by Tom AurnhammerDeck Gun Operating from Cortez Engine One
Photo by Tom AurnhammerLadder Pipe Operation Discontinued Due to Water Supply Issues
Photo by Tom AurnhammerAttack Lines Moved After Apparatus Repositioned
Photo by Tom AurnhammerExposure Protection From the Alpha Side of Office Building
MANCOS, CO: On May 8th, 2017, at 1255 hours, the Mancos Fire Department was dispatched to a reported building fire at the Western Excelsior Corporation located at 901 Grand Avenue. Before being brought under control, this incident required the assistance of multiple fire agencies from Colorado and New Mexico. Water supply issues, a large amount of combustible materials, and wind conditions added to the many challenges that early arriving units faced. The facility processes wood to create erosion-control products such as shaved aspen, also known as excelsior.
According to Mancos Fire Chief Tony Aspromonte the fire was contained to the inside of the warehouse and offices, and that it did not extend to the site’s adjacent lumber yard. By midafternoon, 45 to 50 firefighters had responded to the Mancos Fire Department’s mutual aid request. Assistance was provided from fire departments in Cortez, Dolores, Pleasant View, Towaoc, Lewis, Fort Lewis, Rico, and San Juan County, NM.