Those of us lucky enough to have visited St. Malo Retreat Center know it's a gorgeous facility -- or at least it was, before a blaze broke out there on Monday. At this writing, Boulder County Sheriff's Office spokesman Rick Brough says the fire is still burning, although it's been contained -- and he expects that the investigation into a conflagration that's caused an estimated $1 million in damage will soon get underway in earnest.
Although every spark has yet to be extinguished, "they pretty much didn't fight it last night," Brough says. "There are only four fire protection districts up there, so they left people around to monitor instead. And today, they're going to continue with the fire suppression."
In addition, Brough continues, "I think they'll be able to start the investigation into the origin and cause." He shies away from speculating about most likely scenarios but notes that "they hadn't had power up there for a couple of days, and they were using the fireplace to heat the building. That'll probably be a starting point."
In the meantime, staff will no doubt be assessing the center itself, which made international news when Pope John Paul II visited there back in 1993, when World Youth Day took place in Denver. It's a piece of history well worth preserving.
Look below to see three videos about the fire, with the third, from the Boulder Daily Camera family of newspapers, featuring Brough on the scene.
Click here to follow and like the Michael Roberts/Westword Facebook page.
More from our News archive circa September 2010: "Boulder Fourmile Canyon fire update: 90,000 gallons of fire retardant to be dropped today."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.