Steamboat Springs, Colo. – Paramedic Mike Hirshman vividly recalls the day the Good News Building exploded in downtown Steamboat Springs on Feb. 3, 1994. Enjoying lunch at a local restaurant to celebrate a recent accomplishment, he and his colleague were suddenly interrupted by the news of the explosion just blocks away. In the chaotic aftermath, Hirshman, along with other emergency responders, rushed to the scene to render aid to those affected by the blast.
The explosion, caused by a gas leak, resulted in a massive fire that burned for hours. Despite the extensive property damage and injuries, the miraculous absence of fatalities stood out to the first responders involved. The building housed eight businesses, all of which were displaced as a result of the disaster. Heartwarming stories of local individuals and volunteers coming together to aid the injured and support the community emerged from the tragedy. Throughout the day, emergency personnel, volunteers, and firefighters worked tirelessly to assist those affected and battle the flames.
One of the most striking aspects of the incident was the outpouring of support and action taken by the local community and emergency responders. Pastor Rob Ryg of the Euzoa Bible Church vividly remembers assisting the injured and providing comfort during the chaotic aftermath. Volunteer firefighter Terry Wattles and Deputy Fire Marshal Mike Middleton shared their experiences of responding to the emergency and battling the fire, highlighting the rapid, selfless response of the local fire department and other volunteers.
In the days following the explosion, the entire community rallied together to help those affected by the blast, from shutting off gas to investigating the cause of the explosion. The extensive coverage of the event in local and national newspapers serves as a testament to the severity of the incident and the resilience of the community in the face of such a devastating event.
Three decades later, the memory of the Good News Building explosion remains etched in the minds of those who experienced the tragedy. While the physical scars have healed, the community’s response and the stories of heroism and resilience live on, embodying the spirit of unity and support that defines the community of Steamboat Springs.