Fatal Pinedale fire ruled accidental

PINEDALE, WY — A structure fire that killed one person in Pinedale on July 10 has been ruled accidental.

According to a release from Sublette County United Fire, the fire at 121 North Ashley originated on the cookstove in the kitchen. The occupants had left the front door open, as well as a bedroom window, to cool down during a warm night. The open door and windows allowed for increased airflow into the structure, which caused the fire to grow rapidly from the kitchen to the short hall between the kitchen and bedroom. An opening in the wall between the kitchen and living room allowed for the fire and hot gasses to enter the living room.

The fire killed 67-year-old James Tipton of Pinedale, Wyoming. Tricia Gunderson, 57, was able to get out of the home but sustained serious injuries, and was admitted to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

The Sublette County Unified fire Department and Wyoming State Fire Marshal’s Office would like to remind citizens to check their smoke alarm batteries and install them in every sleeping room as well as outside the sleeping rooms.

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