Worker dies in fire at Weld County oil and gas site

Worker dies in fire at oil and gas site in Weld County
Posted at 4:34 AM, Aug 01, 2019

WELD COUNTY, Colo. — A worker died in a fire at and oil and gas site east of Windsor Wednesday evening.

The site, which is near County Road 66 and County Road 23, is operated by Great Western Petroleum.

Firefighters were called to the site around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Fire Chief Kris Kazian with Windsor-Severance Fire rescue said they saw an active fire when they arrived and took immediate action to stabilize the incident.

Firefighters found a worker's truck on scene and began looking for the man. He was found on top of one of the burning fuel cells and crews retrieved him. However, he died afterward.

"We have turned the scene over to the coroner as it relates to that matter," Kazian said.

The Weld County Coroner on Friday said the man's cause of death was from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He also said a firearm was recovered at the scene.

Kazian said the investigation into the fire has since been completed, which found "the origin of the fire was at the top of the oil tanks." The fire, "cannot be determined as intentional or accidental at this time," the Chief said.

More than 40 firefighters from Windsor-Severance, Greeley, Eaton and Front Range Fire rescue worked to put out the blaze.

"Crews worked on scene for the last three hours to control the temperatures in the tank and eventually take care of the foam in the tank to put the fire out," Kazian said.

No firefighters or other workers were injured in the fire.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with information from the Weld County Coroner's Office on Friday, Aug. 2, 2019.