A fire late in the afternoon of August 18 has badly damaged the Boulder County, Colorado, home of well-known contester Chuck Cullian, K0RF. George Schultz, W0UA, who has operated from K0RF on many occasions, explained that the building is roughly divided into a residential side and a garage/ham radio shack side. He said Cullian told him that the fire pretty thoroughly gutted the residence, leaving Cullian and his family temporarily homeless.
“I’m still kind of in shock over it myself,” Schultz told ARRL. “I’ve spent more time up there over the past 30 years than anyone, I think, besides his immediate family.”
Schultz said on August 19 that he had not yet been to the house and could not speak directly as to the extent of the damage, although according to media accounts, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office deemed the house a total loss. There were no injuries. Schultz said those in the house at the time — Cullian’s wife, his daughter, and her boyfriend — tried in vain to put out the fire as soon as they realized what was happening.
Schultz said the fire, which appears to have started in a laundry room, then moved into the residential wing — away from the end of the long, angular ranch-style home where a finished radio room occupies two bays of a six-bay garage.
“Apparently, the fire smoldered for some time,” Schultz told ARRL. “They were in the living room, quite a ways away, and blocked from the laundry room by the kitchen. Suddenly, it just exploded. I’m just thankful they got out of there.”
“As of now, we think there was no direct effect from the fire on the ‘radio-wing,’” Schultz said. “Under the circumstances, this is of small consolation, of course.” He also did not discount the possibility of water or smoke damage to those parts of the structure not directly affected by the flames.
Schultz said the theory at this point is that the fire began in a clothes dryer or in related venting. He pointed out that the dryer was not “external to the house,” as some media accounts have reported.
Firefighters from Hygiene and Longmont responded to the fire and spent several hours at the site quelling the flames and residual “hot spots.”
Further details are not available, but Schultz told ARRL, “Yes, we will be back.”