One Dead in Grand Teton Park Fire

MOOSE, WY — One person died and four others were injured during an early morning structural fire at the Grand Teton Lodge Company’s Colter Bay employee dormitory in Grand Teton National Park. A quick response by Grand Teton’s structural firefighters and personnel from Jackson Hole Fire/EMS helped contain the fire to a single dorm room. Adjacent rooms sustained smoke damage. Approximately 70 people were evacuated from the two-story dormitory building and all were assessed for injuries and/or smoke inhalation by park EMS providers.


Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received an emergency call at 12:04 a.m. Friday, July 31, and immediately summoned multiple structural firefighters and equipment to the scene. The first responders used fire extinguishers in an attempt to suppress the blaze before fully-equipped park and county fire response teams could arrive.


A Grand Teton National Park fire engine stationed at Colter Bay arrived within 10 minutes of the call for help. Firefighters with Engine 2 were informed that at least one person and possibly others were still inside the dormitory on the second floor. They quickly located and carried out one individual, who was unresponsive, and helped evacuate others from the building. Although CPR was initiated on the unresponsive person—and paramedics continued CPR for nearly one hour—efforts to revive him proved unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Four other people were treated for minor injuries and smoke inhalation. They were transported to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson for further care.


One additional structural fire engine and three ambulances from Grand Teton National Park, plus one aerial ladder truck, one engine, and one water tender from Jackson Hole Fire/EMS arrived shortly after the first fire engine, and quickly joined the suppression efforts. Those additional fire resources were: Engine 1 from Moose HQ campus located 20 miles away; Engine 41 and Tender 47 from Station 4, located 10 miles away at Moran Junction; and Ladder Truck 16 from Jackson, located 35 miles away.


The fire was suppressed by 2:00 a.m. While most rooms were not affected by the fire, residents of the facility were temporarily housed in other locations as a safety precaution for the remainder of the evening.


The name of the deceased is being withheld until family notifications are provided. The cause of the fire has not been determined. A joint investigation will be conducted by Grand Teton National Park with the assistance of a Jackson Hole Fire/EMS investigator and a State of Wyoming fire investigator from Cheyenne. Further details are not available at this time.


Park managers and staff work closely with Jackson Hole Fire/EMS to provide structural fire response and support within Grand Teton National Park and the northern portions of Teton County. Men and women on the park and county response teams train together weekly to keep their skills and structural firefighting knowledge up to standard. This incident was handled by multiple firefighting personnel and equipment and resources, which minimized spread to adjacent structures and nearby forested areas.