Mostly Clear

32°F

Powell, WY

Mostly Clear

Humidity: 44%

Wind: 14 mph

House fire claims life of Powell resident

A Powell firefighter, his silhouette in front of fire trucks on the scene, heads to get a replacement oxygen tank while working in the thick smoke from the fully engulfed structure at Road 13/Lane 10 in Powell Saturday night. A Powell firefighter, his silhouette in front of fire trucks on the scene, heads to get a replacement oxygen tank while working in the thick smoke from the fully engulfed structure at Road 13/Lane 10 in Powell Saturday night. Tribune photos by Mark Davis

A faulty electrical outlet is thought to be responsible for a house fire that claimed the life of a local man Saturday night in rural Powell.

Eddie Clayton Downer, 67, died in the house fire. An autopsy conducted Monday found that Downer died of smoke inhalation, according to Park County Deputy Coroner Denyce Reno.

Fire crews were dispatched at 9:15 p.m. Saturday evening to a home on Road 13 after a neighbor called to report the blaze. Crews arrived to find the structure fully engulfed in flames.

“The reporting officer decided the structure was compromised once we got there, so it was decided to attack it defensively from the outside,” said Powell Fire Chief Damian Dicks. “We had over 20 people out there [fighting the fire].”

After the fire was extinguished and an investigation was conducted, the fire inspector determined the cause to be electrical.

“It looked to be possibly a portable space heater was plugged into an electrical outlet, and that’s where the fire started,” Dicks said. He said no smoke detectors were found in the building.

“If there were smoke detectors, it’s possible the outcome could have been different,” Dicks said.  

The fire and its aftermath kept fire crews busy well into Sunday morning, with the trucks first on the scene finally released around 7:30 a.m. Additional firefighters were on scene until shortly after noon, ensuring there were no more hot spots.

Saturday’s fire was just days removed from another structure fire that destroyed a trailer in the Triangle Mobile Home Park in Powell last week. That blaze is also thought to have been caused by a space heater and that residence also did not have smoke detectors.

“It’s scary the number of houses we go to where there is a smoke detector on the wall, but it hasn’t worked in a long time,” Dicks said. “Please make sure you have a working smoke detector in your home. We want to let people know we’ll be there if they need us. Don’t hesitate to call 911.”

Firefighters try to knock down flames after arriving at the Road 13 home in Powell at about 9:15 p.m. Saturday night. Eddie Downer died in the fire.

2 comments

  • posted by Peter Fordham

    January 09, 2018 5:34 pm

    He was an excellent father, Grandfather and friend who loved his family greatly. He will be missed. It has been a blessing to have known him. May God comfort his soft, kind spirit.

  • posted by Chris Hansen

    January 09, 2018 11:25 am

    I worked with Eddie a couple Years ago as a truck driver in Lovell he was a good guy he will be missed Rest In Peace Eddie

Leave a comment

All comments are initially screened to avoid spam and profanity, and your comment may take some time to appear on the site. The Powell Tribune reserves the right to not publish inappropriate comments.
Fields marked (*) are required.

Subscribe

Get all the latest Powell news by subscribing to the Powell Tribune today!

Click here to find out more!

E-Edition

Our paper can be delivered right to your e-mail inbox with a subscription to the Powell Tribune!

Find out more here!

Stay Connected

Keep up with Powell news by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter.

Go to top