Torrington landmark destroyed in Saturday fire

February 3, 2019

TORRINGTON, Wyo. — Saturday brought a rude awakening to Jackie Rush and her family when they were informed that their business, Roy’s Cold Storage, was on fire. Family members had owned it for several years, and the Rushes assumed ownership in 2013.

While standing on 19th Avenue east of the fire Saturday, Rush expressed concern about a vehicle inside a concrete block addition to the rear of the cold storage plant. As of late afternoon, the pickup appeared to have survived the fire, and firemen and family and friends were debating the best way to retrieve it while a backhoe was knocking down the remains of the main structure.

Damage estimates won’t be available until the state fire marshal completes his report. In addition to the plant damage, neighbors east of the fire face cleanup from hours of smoke clouds engulfing their homes.

Assisting Torrington firemen were fire department from the City of Scottsbuff, Morrill, Lingle, Veteran, Camp Guernsey, and the Goshen County Emergency Medical Service and Shelly Kirchhefer, of Goshen County Emergency Management.

According to Torrington Fire Chief Lance Petsch, retired and reserve members as well as most of the 32 current roster, were involved in the fight and cleanup that was drawing to a close by 4 p.m. The City of Torrington street department was involved in clearing water from nearby street gutters, which otherwise could have caused flooding in neighborhood basements.

“We didn’t want to tear down the building,” said Dennis Estes, TVFD member and incident commander, while watching the backhoe at work. He explained that decades of interior modifications made it necessary in order to prevent the possibility of fire breaking out again.

Thanking the other departments, Petsch said, “We want to thank everyone who showed up to help. Everyone worked well together to save the adjoining buildings and protect others.”