Deck fireplace blamed for Rusty Parrot fire

JACKSON, Wyo. — An investigation into the fire at the Rusty Parrot revealed that the fire started due to heat from a natural gas fireplace on the deck.

The fire started at 11:27 p.m. Monday and was called in by an employee, according to a press release from Teton County.

Fire Marshal Kathy Clay completed the investigation today. The fire originated on the south deck of the lodge. There were permanently-installed natural gas outdoor fireplaces adjacent to an L-shaped cushioned sofa bench. The fireplaces were shut off, but fabric from the bench’s protective covering was close enough to ignite from residual heat.

Around 13 units and 30 fireman from Jackson Hole Fire/EMS and the Teton Village Fire Department worked through the early hours of Tuesday morning to suppress the fire. Johnny Ryan, Town of Jackson’s Water Utility Manager, estimates at least 500,000 gallons of water were used to fight it.

The building sustained significant damage, and Building Official Kelly Sluder has posted it “Condemned” due to significant structural loss.

“We are all saddened by the loss of this iconic structure,” said Jackson Hole Fire/EMS Chief Brady Hansen. “I am proud of our responders; they worked it 100%.”

Clay offered a reminder to the public to take caution when placing combustibles near heat sources. “Introducing fire onto a deck creates a wonderful ambiance,” she said. “But it also increases risk.”

Clay recommends checking all heat sources and ensuring combustibles have safe distance clearances to prevent fires from occurring.


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