By Clair McFarland, Cowboy State Daily
Two people died in a house fire and explosion in Riverton on Monday, authorities have announced.
The Wyoming Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the fire as accidental, but its cause has not been announced.
The Riverton Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched along with police and other emergency responders at about 1 p.m. Monday to a home engulfed in flames from which loud explosions could be heard. The noise was later determined to have been caused by exploding oxygen tanks.
Neighbors on scene told Cowboy State Daily that in the fire’s early phases, officers asked them to go into their homes to avoid being hit by shrapnel from the exploding tanks.
“Upon arrival there was heavy fire load in the house,” RVFD Chief Brian Hutchins said in a Tuesday statement. “It was confirmed there were two occupants unaccounted for. A search was conducted and two deceased occupants were found.”
RVFD had three fire vehicles and 15 firefighters on scene, and firefighters battled the flames from windows and through the fire-breached roof using a crane-raised scaffolding.
The Fremont County Sheriffs Office, Frontier Ambulance, and Fremont County Coroner’s office assisted on the scene.