LVFD: Apartment fire cause electrical, most damage limited to attic, no injuries

A Friday afternoon apartment fire in Lander has been tentatively ruled as electrically caused, Lander Volunteer Fire Department Administrator Nick Hudson said Saturday. Hudson said the fire apparently started at the rear of the apartment building at 408 South Second street where the electrical panel is located. the fire spread up the back wall of the building and into the attic.Hudson said most of the damage from the fire occurred in the attic, with extensive damage to the roof trusses, and some smoke and water damage in one of the building’s upstairs units. There are four apartments in the building. Hudson said firefighters had to poke some holes in the second floor apartment ceilings to determine the extent of the fire spread.The Lander Fire Administrator said firefighters gained access to the attic from a portal on the front of the building and used a technique called “fog spray” to introduce water into the space. With the heat inside the attic, the fog quickly turned to steam and extinguished the blaze.Hudson also said firefighters used fans to create positive pressure in the building to keep the smoke in the attic as much as possible, and reducing damage to the apartment units. He did not have a damage estimate prepared on Saturday. The building is owned by Lander attorney Sky Phifer. No one was at home at the time of the fire, excepting one renter’s cat, and temporary accomodations have been found for the residents living there. The cat was rescued unharmed.The LVFD responded to the scene with two full engine companies, one ladder company and one rescue unit, a total of about 20 firefighters. The Lander Rural Fire Department was called in for back up and to assist if necessary and it responded with two pumpers and 10 firefighters.


Reduced night time speed limit now in place in GTNP

Fremont County winter sports enthusiasts who travel over Togowotee Pass will find a new night time speed limit through Grand Teton National Park on U.S. Highway 26/89/191. The night time speed limit has been lowered from 55 mph to 45 mph from the park’s south boundary (Jackson) to the boundary east of Moran Junction. Night time begins 30 minutes after sunset and lasts until 30 minutes before sunrise. Areas around Gros Ventre Junction and Moran Junction will remain 45 mph at all times.

The number of animals killed due to vehicle collisions in GTNP continues to rise. In 2010 more than 150 animals were killed on park roads. During the past three years, 64 percent of wildlife fatalities occurred on this section of highway. Throughout the park, 55 percent of fatalities occurred at night. In order to protect the public and to preserve wildlife populations, park officials reduced night time speed limits to give drivers and animals more reaction time. The reduced speed only adds six minutes to your trip along this section of highway, according to GTNP officials.

Candy sales funding Voc-Rehab start-up business help for disabled

Candy machines are sprouting up in State of Wyoming owned public buildings in Fremont County and Northwest Wyoming. While installing candy machines may be counter-productive to the State Health Department’s efforts to reduce obesiety, income from machines is being directed into another state program to help people with disabilities be more independent.Lynne Iverson, the Vending Program Manager at the Division of Workforce Service’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, said a contract to provide vending services goes out to bid every two years. A Jackson firm, Airport Vending, recently won the bid for Northwest Wyoming and began delivering the candy dispensers in December. Other counties served under the bid include: Teton, Sublette, Park, Big Horn, Washakie, and Hot Springs.

“The revenues from this program go into the Business Enterprise Program which is used for people with disabilities to assist them start their own businesses,” Iverson said. “The money is used to match other loans and resources. It’s a way to help people with start-up costs.”