At 3:51 PM, on November 3rd, the Golden, Colorado Fire Department responded to a structure fire at the Old Capitol Grill in the historic downtown area of Golden. Upon arrival fire crews were met with heavy fire on the roof and second floor of a two story ordinary construction building.
This building was built in 1863 and served as the Territorial Capitol for Colorado until statehood was declared and the capitol moved to Denver.
This building did not have a sprinkler system. A second alarm was immediately requested bringing mutual aid departments to the scene. Initial efforts consisted of an offensive attack from Side C of the structure but within 10 minutes, the Incident Commander declared an evacuation of all fire personnel from the structure and a defensive operation began.
Several master streams were utilized as well as numerous hand lines to control the fire. After major knockdown of the fire, offensive crews were allowed to cautiously re-enter the building on the second floor to extinguish remaining fires. This fire was declared under control at 4:50 PM.
Fire loss is estimated to be 1.3 million dollars to structure and contents. The fire originated on the roof and rapidly extended into the attic causing structural failure of wooden support members. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but preliminary reports indicated a roofing contractor was making repairs on the roof utilizing a propane torch.
Damage was confined to the attic and second floor with heavy smoke and water damage to the restaurant on the first floor.
60 firefighters from five agencies including Golden, West Metro, Fairmount, Pleasant View and Genesee Fire Departments responded to control the blaze. Reports are optimistic that this historic landmark can be rebuilt according to structural engineers.
The Golden Fire Department is a combination fire department consisting of 10 career staff members and 43 volunteer firefighters. It is located on the western edge of the Denver Metropolitan area and serves a resident population of 18,000.