Gold Run fires since 2006

Jan. 22, 2006: A fire started on the deck of one of the units of the building at 2990 Shadow Creek Drive when someone discarded ashes from a hookah into a wooden flower pot. The fire damaged 36 units.

Oct. 26, 2007: Two buildings in the complex — one at 2800 and the other at 2802 Sundown Lane — caught fire when someone tried to put out a cigar in a planting box. Again, 36 units were damaged.

Oct. 20, 2010: One unit was destroyed and a cat was killed when a resident left a cardboard box on top of the stove inside the building at 2805 Sundown Lane.

Saturday: Two units were destroyed when a fire began on the deck of one of the units at 2885 Springdale Lane. The exact cause of the fire is not yet known.

Luke Bushek and Jake Folsom were watching a movie around 3 a.m. Saturday when they saw some odd flashes of light reflect off the walls.

At first, the two friends thought somebody may have been dealing with the police in the parking lot of the Gold Run condominium complex, but they quickly realized the light was not coming from any vehicle.

"We saw our neighbor's roof was on fire," said Bushek, 21, who has lived in the 2800 block of Springdale Lane for two years.

"The flames were huge," said Folsom, 20.


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The blaze — which destroyed two units, though no one was seriously injured — was the fourth fire at the Gold Run complex in eight years and the third believed to have started on an outdoor deck.

Fire Marshal Dave Lowrey said investigators are looking at a third-level outdoor deck as the source of the fire, though officials hadn't pinpointed a cause.

"They've had a horrible streak of bad luck," Lowrey said of Gold Run. "There's more condos in Boulder that are built just like Gold Run that haven't seen fires like they have."

But Lowrey did say complexes like Gold Run — which is composed almost entirely of wood — are something firefighters have to keep an eye on.

"It's always a concern with places like Gold Run where everything is wood," he said.

During the fire Saturday, Bushek and Folsom rushed outside where they encountered the residents of the burning unit, located across a narrow walkway from Bushek's in the building just to the east.

"We asked how it started and they didn't respond," said Bushek, 21. "They were in shock. Later, they said they didn't really know."

Bushek and Folsom said fire crews were on the scene within minutes and began dousing the blaze immediately.

"It was so hot on this side of the building, when they were spraying it down with water it was steaming up," Folsom said, gesturing to the wall of the condo nearest the adjacent building. "A-plus to the firefighters. They did a great job."

Bushek was able to stay with Folsom for the night and has since been allowed back in his condo, but two units in the building next door were destroyed in the blaze, according to Boulder fire investigators.

About 40 firefighters responded to the blaze and were able to put it out in about an hour before it spread to any other condos, and 18 to 25 people, including Bushek and Folsom, were evacuated as a precaution. The fire also sent one firefighter to the hospital with a minor injury.

Gold Run managers said residents of the two damaged units are still displaced, but the other residents in the building were allowed to move back.

In 2006, 36 units were damaged by a fire that started when a resident discarded ashes from a hookah into a wooden flower pot and in 2007, 36 units were damaged when a resident put a cigar into a planter.

A 2010 fire at the complex destroyed one unit and killed a cat when the resident left a cardboard box on the stove inside the unit.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Mitchell Byars at 303-473-1329 or byarsm@dailycamera.com.