The Crestone Eagle, January 2008:

Fatal mobile home fire on Rd. AA
by Mary Lowers

Mattie Sandborn Zier, 76, lost her home and her life in what was described as an intense blaze which destroyed the mobile home on Saguache County Road AA on Monday, December 17. Zier shared her home with her roommate, Bernard Calvin Lumbert, 75, who received second-degree burns and complications from smoke inhalation. He was transported to heart of the Rockies Medical Center in Salida and later to Colorado Springs for further medical care.

Saguache County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Nick Tolsma and Sheriff’s Investigator Mark Wertz were the first on the scene and attempted to reach the unconscious Zier through a window. Wertz was treated for burns at the hospital in Salida as a result of the unsuccessful rescue attempt. Sheriff Mike Norris reported that Zier died in the bedroom of the structure. Norris, who arrived shortly after the fire, was called in by neighbors at 5:39pm and said the structure was engulfed in smoke and flames when he got there.

Northern Saguache Fire Protection District called for all fire departments to respond to the emergency. Firefighters and trucks from Villa Grove, Moffat, Crestone, and the Baca Grande all responded, as did two ambulances from Saguache. Ambulance personnel stayed at the scene to attend to firefighters suffering from hypothermia and falls on the wet, icy ground. It was estimated twenty to twenty-five volunteer fire fighters responded to the blaze. Six fire trucks battled the fire while vehicles ferried water to the blaze from Saguache. The mobile home structure with wooden additions was a complete loss.

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