SHERIDAN — One firefighter from Sheridan Fire-Rescue was injured in the course of fighting a fire at the residence of local artist and philanthropist Neltje on Sunday night.
SFR Chief Terry Lenhart said crews were called to the structure fire at 11 Lower Piney Creek Road near Banner at 7:41 p.m. and confronted an active fire on the second story in one of the wings of the house.
Lenhart said the firefighter’s injury was minor. However, he was examined at Sheridan Memorial Hospital and released shortly afterward.
Lenhart said most of the fire damage to the structure, which he classified as extensive, occurred in a bedroom and bathroom.
He said when occupants of the house became aware of the fire, they attempted to put it out with an extinguisher, but when those efforts were unsuccessful, the occupants closed the doors to the rooms containing the blaze and exited the building.
“We were able to put it out quickly once we were on the scene,” Lenhart said, indicating his crews left the scene at 10:37 p.m.
The residence falls within the jurisdiction of the Clearmont Fire District. CFD Chief Fritz Bates indicated the cause of the blaze is still under investigation by the Wyoming State Fire Marshal’s Office.
In addition to SFR and CFD, the Goose Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office and Rocky Mountain Ambulance also contributed to the emergency response efforts.
Neltje is the founder of the Jentel Artist Residency Program and has promised her ranch, home and art collection to the University of Wyoming upon her death. The Sheridan Press was unable to reach her or a spokesperson to determine what, if any, items were damaged in Sunday’s fire.