Fatal Grand Teton dorm fire started intentionally

July 31, 2015, NPS

July 31, 2015, NPS


Author: Steven Shaw
Date: 07.27.16

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK --  The investigation into a 2015 fatal structure fire in Grand Teton National Park is complete.

Shortly after midnight on July 31, 2015 firefighters and paramedics responded to a fire on the floor of the Colter Bay employee dormitory, which is managed by concessionaire Grand Teton Lodge Company. Dorm residents and nearby neighbors tried to contain the flames with fire extinguishers until help arrived. Once fire crews arrived they were able to suppress the fire in about two hours and keep it contained to one dorm room.  "It was an amazing response from Grand Teton National Park firefighters, EMTs, rangers, and also the Jackson Hole Fire and EMS responders," said Grand Teton spokesperson, Jackie Skaggs.

The first responders found the body of an unresponsive man in the dorm room where the fire started.  Paramedics attempted to resuscitate the man, however their efforts were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead. Investigators tell TrailMob the man was 28‐year‐old employee of the Grand Teton Lodge Company, and had third degree burns to over 50% percent of his body.

“The investigation determined the man had intentionally caused the fire using a flammable device in his room that resulted in his death. The Teton County Coroner Office ruled the manner of death a suicide. Four other people suffered minor injuries from the fire. All patients were transported to St. John’s Medical Center where they treated and released.” Said the National Park Service in a press release