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Fire Damages Cabin at Togwotee Lodge

Fire-EMS

An early-morning fire in a cabin at Togwotee Mountain Lodge Tuesday heavily damaged the cabin, but the occupants were able to escape uninjured with their belongings.  Jackson Hole Fire chief Willy Watsabaugh says units responded from Moran, Jackson and Grand Teton National Park at about 4:00 am, and together the 24 firefighters were able to save the building.  Watsabaugh points out that the fire was a significant distance from the closest firehouse in Moran, so they had time to pre-plan what their actions were going to be.  Additionally, he says the personnel at the lodge company had identified where the hydrants were and had them dug out and accessible by the time the firefighters arrived.  Consequently, he says the teams were able to go right into action and halt the progression of the fire in the roof system. Watsabaugh says the fire started adjacent the fireplace as a result of pyrolysis. That, he explains is the breaking down of combustible materials by heat to lower the temperature needed for combustion.  Because of that, he says the fire ignited the materials on the exterior of the fireplace box.  From there, Watsabaugh says the fire traveled up the outside wall and into the roof.  He says the cabin was extensively damaged, but not to the point that it cannot be restored.  Watsabaugh credits the smoke detetectors for alerting the occupants in time for them to respond.

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