Employee dorm fire kills 1, injures 4 in Grand Teton

AP News
|
Posted: Jul 31, 2015 9:20 PM

MOOSE, Wyo. (AP) — A fire at an employee dormitory in Grand Teton National Park killed one person and injured four others in the third emergency for national park concession workers in Wyoming in the past two months.

The fire ignited at a two-story Grand Teton Lodge Co. dorm at Colter Bay, an area of lodging and restaurants on the eastern shore of Jackson Lake. A fire engine arrived within 10 minutes of the emergency call just after midnight Friday, according to park officials.

Firefighters carried out one person from the second floor who was unresponsive. Resuscitation efforts continued for almost an hour before he was declared dead at the scene.

The victim was identified as a concession worker in his mid-20s. His name was being withheld until his family could be told.

Four other concession workers were treated for minor injuries and smoke inhalation and taken to a hospital in Jackson for further care, park officials said.

In all, about 70 people were evacuated from the dormitory building. They took shelter in other dormitories and an employee recreation center for the rest of the night.

Firefighters contained the fire to a single room of the clapboard-sided building. Neighboring rooms had smoke damage.

"There isn't a lot of fire damage on the front of the building. There was one window with the glass broken and you could see that there was a fire inside," park spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said.

The flames were snuffed out by 2 a.m. Investigators with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were helping to determine the cause of the blaze, said Christopher Amon, an agency spokesman

The employee housing is in a forested area separate from tourist lodging. Even so, the fire trucks drew nearby campers worried that a wildfire might have broken out, Skaggs said.

In nearby Yellowstone National Park, search and rescue teams have been looking for Feiyang "Isaac" Xiang, 21, a seasonal park concession worker from China who went missing in the Yellowstone River on July 23. Xiang was swimming with friends when the current pulled him away from shore.

On June 23, a bison tossed a 19-year-old off-duty park concession employee in Yellowstone. The unidentified woman was treated and released from a hospital for minor injuries.

The popular national parks are at the height of summer tourist season. Jobs at the parks' privately operated restaurants and hotels draw hundreds of seasonal workers to the region every year.

___

This story has been corrected to show the fire was extinguished by 2 a.m., not 2 p.m.