John Rutter, R.I.P.: Addiction Counselor's Body Found in Rubble of Burned Clinic
A Facebook photo of John Rutter. Additional images and more below.
Update: Yesterday morning about this time, we told you about a fire that struck Creative Treatment Options, a substance abuse clinic in Arvada, and the ongoing search for John Rutter, a veteran addiction counselor who'd been missing since the blaze got underway.
On Monday evening, the Arvada Fire Department announced that a body had been recovered from the rubble of the facility.
Thus far, authorities haven't positively identified the remains.
However, the folks at CTO have announced that Rutter was indeed the victim.
According to the fire department, heavy equipment was brought to the scene of the fire, near 64th and Wadsworth, to partially demolish the building. The goal: to create a safe working area.
Shortly thereafter, search dogs were deployed, and before long, they found a body, which was then removed from the wreckage.
The Arvada Fire Department fighting the weekend blaze.
Arvada Fire Department Facebook page
The Creative Treatment Options Facebook page updated the situation with this item:
Sadly, I have to report that it is confirmed that we have lost John Rutter. They found him late today. Our deepest condolences to the family and to all of those who were touched by John's kind presence. He brought profound wisdom into our lives and a genuine spirit of giving. All who knew John loved and respected him and his journey in his life. Thousands of people have benefited from his teaching and guidance. Rest in Peace my friend.
The post prompted an outpouring of grief from those who knew, loved and respected Rutter. Here are two examples:
R.I.P. john.....you were a special person you looked at everyone as a normal person not just as a person that was an addict..you made people believe that they have a second chance and that we could over come anything.....I really didn't want to start my classes but after my first day going to your class I went home saying it was not that bad and that you made me feel comfortable...thanks John for your inspiration and I'm sure you will be up in heaven inspiring everyone there ...I pray the family of John can heal their hearts but also be happy about such a great man they knew....
CTO, John was a wonderful man and a true human being... I always came home after my class and shared his knowledge, love and wisdom with my family. He changed my life, and I am so heartbroken that more people will not experience Johns lust and love for life and all people. RIP John your work is done! Enjoy your much deserved angel wings. Thank you for introducing me to Dr. Dyer. His message and your guidence gave me my positive outlook and lust for life!!!
A memorial service is pending. In the meantime, we offer our sincere condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of John Rutter. Continue for our previous coverage.
Original post, 5:56 a.m. January 4: For the folks at Creative Treatment Options, a substance abuse clinic in Arvada, a weekend fire that decimated the facility qualifies as very unfortunate.
But not nearly as unfortunate as the fact that John Rutter, an addiction counselor at the facility, remains missing at this writing.
At approximately 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 2, the Arvada Fire Department responded to reports of heavy smoke and fire at the clinic, located near 64th and Wadsworth.
Ultimately, personnel from Westminster and Adams County collaborated to knock down the blaze, which hurt one civilian and one firefighter; they suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Here's a photo of the fire shared by the AFD on its Facebook page....
Arvada Fire Department Facebook page
...as well as another:
Arvada Fire Department Facebook page
Yesterday, CTO posted an update on its Facebook page. It reads:
Many of you have seen that the building we have been housed in for 18 years burned to the ground yesterday. All clients, got out safely. John Rutter is still missing. The building is gutted and too dangerous to enter at this time. We are working on a plan to relocate as I write this. I am so grateful that Rick Zielinski alerted the staff and that Tammis Jahn and Mike Fabian were able to help with the evacuation. They are safe. I also have much gratitude for the outpouring of texts, phone calls, and Facebook messages received. I will post the plans as soon as I can. I expect to be open in a day or two. Thank you everyone for your prayers and good wishes.
The damage to the building in the wake of the conflagration can be seen clearly in this 7News image:
Rutter's CTO bio offers details about his background and the cause to which he's dedicated his professional life:
John has over twenty years of experience in the addictions field. He graduated in 2000 with an AAS in Addictions Counseling. He earned the program award of highest achievement, as well as the college’s award of excellence, graduating on the Dean’s List.
John came “home” to Colorado in 2005 after first visiting as a teenager in 1976. John grew up in the “frozen Tundra” of the cheese-land known as Wisconsin. Before coming back, John was a clinic director in Milwaukee’s inner city, where he experienced genuine love and unconditional commitment of the family as he refers to all he comes in contact. John lives by the motto: “we are all students and we are all teachers.” John has learned through his own experiences that life is about adjustments to the lessons being taught. He encourages everyone to embrace the journey and not concentrate on the destination because that is the same for everyone. To make the most of the space in the middle opens the opportunity for a fulfilling life.
John’s eclectic approach facilitates his abilities to meet people according to their own experiences and perspectives; he is a living example that one size does not fit all. John currently facilitates groups in Level II Education, Level II Therapy, Relapse Prevention, STOP (stimulant specific) Therapy, Anger Management, and Strategies for Self Improvement in Change. John is a certified facilitator for SSIC, Thinking for a Change, Driving with Care, and is an ATP approved provider.
John is passionate about his profession and is humbled by the tremendous drive and conviction of the human spirit. His motivation and inspiration are being a part of people doing better, and learning what they are capable of to the ends of achieving their greatest potential. John’s greatest achievements are seeing his son’s Cody and Ian, and his grandchildren Liam and Chloe live and love and reach their greatest potential. John is a better person for all the people he has had the privilege and honor meeting during his “space in between.”
Another photo shot after the fire was extinguished.
Arvada Fire Department Facbook page
The latest update about CTO's services went up earlier this morning:
Please check our website for group information. We are closed today, Monday January 4th but groups will resume Tuesday at alternative locations:
1410 Vance Street 2nd floor and 494 Sheridan BLVD Suite C-102
The CTO website can be accessed by clicking here.
Thus far, nothing new about Rutter has been posted.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Westword's biggest stories.