RIVERTON, Wyo. — A propane grill may be to blame for a fire that heavily damaged a Riverton home.
No one was injured in the fire last weekend.
Officials believe the fire began near a propane grill on the back deck of the split-level home. The fire spread inside, covered the rear of the house and reached the garage and attic.
Riverton Volunteer Fire Department chief Mike Hutchison said the kitchen and dining room areas were heavily damaged, and the entire home was affected by smoke and heat.
A resident who was home at the time of the fire escaped unharmed. The woman was in front of the house and didn't know the fire had started until she was told by a passer-by.
"I can only assume she was probably in some sort of state of disbelief or shock when the person came up and said, 'Your house is on fire,'" Hutchison said. "She saw the whole back porch was involved in fire, then closed the back door and ran out of the house."
Fifteen firefighters, an engine company, a truck company, a rescue company and a tanker responded to the blaze. A large crowd from the neighborhood watched the activity from the street.
The investigation is continuing, but Hutchison urged residents to be careful when using grills on wooden decks.
"It's one of those we might just not ever know," he said. "There was so much destruction that we can tell where it started, but we don't know how. ... There's nothing left of (the grill) to look at. It was completely melted into a puddle of metal."
"The propane cylinder was still intact," Hutchison said.