HighCountry Reporter

"Where the Mountains Meet the Sky - We are there."

THE LIGHNING STRIKE and the fire siren sounded within split seconds of each other.  Shown are emergency vehicles leaving their staging area in response to the fire alarm at the Jefferson County Courthouse.

The Gavel of the Gods

The following is an upcoming article in the Wednesday, July 12 issue of HighCountry Reporter.....

  The brooding, dark clouds had parted and dispersed on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 27 except for a solitary cloud which hovered over the town of Boulder.
   No other streaks of fire in the sky heralded what was about to happen.  In the surrounding mountains, silence blanketed the afternoon, in contrast to our normal spring/summer afternoons when the sound of thunder echoes back and forth across the valley.
   Eyewitnesses say that the massive bolt of lightning erupted from the cloud and "spidered" just before it struck the ground.  Reports say it hit the courthouse.  Other reports say it hit a near-by pump house.  Still others claim it struck the Sheriff's Office.  Perhaps they are all correct, but what is known for sure is that in the same instance the bolt struck, the fire alarm in the Jefferson County Courthouse sounded.  A heartbeat latter, the Boulder Volunteer Fire Department's siren started its mournful wailing; strangely quiet sounding in the aftermath of the roaring blast of noise that accompanied the bolt of lightening.
   Fire trucks left the hall for the approximately one block trip to the courthouse.  Once there, they were joined by an ever enlarging throng of on-lookers.  In a preliminary search it was believed that smoke was detected on the upper floors of the courthouse.  Hose was immediately deployed to the sides and interior of the building.  During the search County Clerk and Recorder Bonnie Ramey made two short recons into the structure to retrieve computer records, county payroll and store documents in fire proof safes.
   Amazingly enough, while taking the brunt of millions of volts of electrical current - power in the area was never lost.  The same could not be said for the communication systems at the Sheriff's Office.
   In the aftermath of all this, it is noted that no fire was actually started by the strike.  It should also be noted that Jefferson County structures do not pay a fee, tax, nor stipend towards fire protection in the town of Boulder.

SEVERAL HUNDRED FEET of fire hose was run from the east-side street (in front of the Boulder Law Enforcement Center) to the sides and interior of the Courthouse.