After being evacuated from their homes for several hours, Laramie first responders notified some residents of Wade’s Trailer Court they were allowed to return around 6 p.m. Monday as firefighters continued mop-up operations on the blaze that displaced them earlier.
Laramie Fire Department Shift Cmdr. Kevin Lam said residents whose homes were not affected were originally told to wait to return until about 8 p.m., but because of progress made extinguishing the fire, residents were allowed back in two hours early. Nine structures were destroyed in the blaze and no one was injured from the incident, he said.
“The people that are not immediately impacted, other than they were evacuated, are being let back into residences,” Lam said. “If we are letting folks back in to the relative area early, that means that things are going well.”
Around 11 a.m. Monday, first responders received a call regarding a structure fire and went to the trailer court, he said.
“The first engine got there and they saw a significant amount of smoke and flames and the fire was already spreading to the adjacent structure,” Lam said. “Winds were in the 40 mph range strong out of the west and this became a wind-driven fire that eventually encompassed many more structures.”
Several agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, LFD, Albany County Fire District No. 1, Albany County Fire Warden’s Office, Albany County Emergency Management Agency, Laramie Parks Department and Laramie Streets Department responded to the call.
Officers from the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, Laramie Police Department and Wyoming Highway Patrol also responded to the incident, a city of Laramie news release states.
Firefighters are still working on extinguishing the blaze, using equipment to unearth spots where the fire is still active. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Lam said.
“Right now, what is going on is called overhaul, where we use equipment to extinguish those areas of the fires that are buried so we don’t have hotspots,” he said. “The investigation is still ongoing so I am not going to give you any exact details as to where it was started or what caused it or who’s responsible.”
Wade’s Trailer Court resident Pamela Nelson said her residence wasn’t destroyed from the incident but the first thing that came to her mind when she learned about the fire was making sure her animals were safe.
“I was having coffee and I heard sirens and I looked out the window and I saw the fire,” Nelson said. “After that, the sheriff’s truck was circling the neighborhood with a loud speaker telling everybody to get out.”
People who want to assist victims of the fire can donate money to United Way of Albany County and Interfaith-Good Samaritan, Albany County Emergency Management Coordinator Aimee Binning said. A list of needed items besides money could come out in a few days.
“United Way and Interfaith-Good Samaritan are taking donations locally (to help the residents),” Binning said.