Arson fire ushers in 2013

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Woodland Park Police arrested Tyler Scott Morland, 22, Jan. 1 at the scene of a fire in progress at Teller County Waste at 116 N. Center. According to Chief Bob Larson, the department expects to file four charges against Morland: 2nd degree burglary, a Class IV felony; criminal mischief, a felony; 4th degree arson, a Class II misdemeanor; and criminal trespass, a misdemeanor. The charges will be filed in the 4th Judicial District.

At the time of his arrest, Morland was intoxicated, Larson added. The chief credits the quick response of Northeast Teller County Fire Protection District for extinguishing the fire within minutes. According to police records, Bradley Blanchard (at Teller Cable) made the “911” call at 3:11 a.m. Jan.1 and fire and police arrived within minutes.

“We extinguished the fire quickly,” said Fire Chief Tyler Lambert. “The key to saving the building was the 911 call. A few minutes longer, it would have been a different story.”

The fire started on the upper level of the two-story building; the contents, computers, phone system and files, were destroyed and the building itself sustained heavy smoke damage.

Jay Baker, the owner of the waste company, received the call about 4 a.m. “The upstairs was trashed,” Baker said.

As a result, Baker has moved the offices to the Woodland Professional Building. “We didn't miss a beat,” he said. “We opened for business the next day; it was 36 hours from destruction to production.”

Baker credits his son, Jayson Baker, who owns Peak Internet, for relocating the phone and internets systems as well as his staff for working on the New Year's holiday to help get the company up and running.

Cpl. Dena Currin and Office Greg Geiman, Woodland Park Police, and Teller County Sheriff's Deputy Nathan Williams responded to the 911 call, along with a crew of four from NETCO. “It was a cold morning,” Lambert said.

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