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KVNF Regional Newscast: April 21, 2022

The destroyed Hartmann Brothers medical supply warehouse viewed from the alley on April 20, 2022.
Gavin Dahl
The destroyed Hartmann Brothers medical supply warehouse viewed from the alley on April 20, 2022.

Explosions and a major fire in downtown Montrose yesterday injured at least four people and caused the police department to evacuate the area. The Hartman Brothers medical supply warehouse across the alley from their store at 531 East Main, blew up around 3 o’clock, reports the Montrose Press. The cause is not yet known. In a press release, Lyndsay Wiley of the Montrose Fire District confirmed last night four people were taken to Montrose Regional Health, one was in critical condition, one was in fair condition, and two were in good condition. They are thought to be Hartman Brothers employees. The Montrose Press is reporting 5 total injuries, attributing that number to information from the hospital. Although no other buildings burned, the fire was quite hazardous to the public, crews focused on preventing flames from reaching large oxygen tanks and liquid oxygen in the Hartman Brothers’ backlot but told KVNF News on the scene the structure was not sound enough for entry. The fire was confined to the Hartman’s warehouse building on the west side of the block, and the blaze was contained by 5:30pm. Delta-Montrose Electric Association temporarily disconnected power in the area including here at Studio M and gas was shut off to the entire block. Crews from a dozen agencies remained on the scene into the evening addressing hot spots. In the words of Montrose Fire Protection District Chief Tad Rowan, [quote] “We lost a building, but we saved a block.” The Montrose Press reports Hartman Brothers has been in operation since 1904, when it opened as a bicycle and novelty shop. It now provides supplies for home-based medical care and has a satellite location in Delta. For welders who rely on Hartman’s busy downtown facility, trips to Grand Junction are now expected to be necessary for acquiring new tanks of welding gas.

The small rural community of Monte Vista in the San Luis Valley suffered a fire yesterday that forced people from about 100 homes to seek safety. Firefighters went door to door to notify residents to leave their homes amid strong gusts of wind that fueled the fire. The Colorado Sun reports several homes and other structures were destroyed before firefighters were able to get a handle on the fire. Fire departments from six counties responded. A type 1 helicopter dropped water on the flames.

Delta City Council considered a zoning change request at its regular meeting on Tuesday. After hearing from the Uncompahgre Development Company’s Doug Atchley, who came before the Board with the request, the council authorized an amendment of a parcel near the intersection of H Road and 1800 Road. The Delta County Independent reports the amendment would change the zoning designation from agricultural to industrial to allow them to expand the Industrial Park to the south, increasing the footprint for new minor industrial businesses. The ordinance passed the first of two readings, and its second reading will be at the May 3rd Delta city council meeting.

The public comment period for the Paonia In Motion draft Master Plan has been extended until April 25th. The newly revised schedule and more info on the completion of the Parks, Recreation & Trails Plan can be found at PaoniaInMotion.com.

Delta County Libraries are restoring Saturday hours in Crawford and Hotchkiss beginning Saturday. Like Delta, Paonia, and Cedaredge, branches will be open 10 to 4.

FEATURE (4:45)

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