Fire Destroys CSU Equine Reproduction Laboratory

Tuesday July 26, 2011

 

Case Overview

The Animal Law Center, LLC, in conjunction with Michael S. Porter, Law Firm of Michael Porter and Donald T. Emmi, William J. Hunsaker, P.C., has been retained by several clients to investigate claims surrounding the July 25 or 26, 2011 fire that occurred at the Colorado State University Equine Reproduction Laboratory. It has come to our attention that many people are searching for help with respect to a claim or claims for damages related to horse semen, embryos, and/or eggs that may have been destroyed in that fire.

As with any case of this nature, time is definitely of the essence in dealing with the insurance company and with a governmental entity such as Colorado State University. In a case brought against a governmental entity for negligence, the law requires that they are properly put on notice pursuant to Colo.Rev.Stat. §24-10-101, et seq. (more particularly §24-10-109) within 180 days “after the date of the discovery of the injury,” or in this case, the date of the fire. If the notice is not properly sent, or is not prepared strictly following the statute, your claim(s) may be forever barred.

It is important that you contact us or an attorney of your choosing right away since significant legal consequences may result if you fail to timely do so. Since the deadline is rapidly approaching, we would like to speak with you at your earliest available opportunity to discuss any potential claim you may have and discuss the possibility of our firms representing your interests in pursuing claims against the responsible parties, which may include the Colorado State University and the Colorado State University Equine Reproduction Laboratory.

See some of the news stories on the fire below.

9 News Story

CSU still gauging damage after fire at equine reproduction facility

CSU still gauging damage after fire at equine reproduction facility

Posted: 07/27/2011 01:00:00 AM MDT
Updated: 07/27/2011 01:49:42 AM MDT
By Monte Whaley
The Denver Post
 

Officials on Tuesday were trying to assess how much damage an early-morning fire did to a world-renowned equine reproduction program at Colorado State University.

The fire, reported at 1 a.m., gutted the main office of the Equine Reproduction Laboratory at the CSU Foothills Campus. Firefighters found flames shooting through the roof of the building.

Fire crews, CSU police, faculty and students evacuated horses from nearby buildings as a precaution. No animals or people were hurt in the blaze, which is still under investigation, said Poudre Fire Authority spokesman Patrick Love. The program is aimed at improving horse reproduction.

Smoke from the fire blanketed neighborhoods east of the campus, and it took 28 firefighters to finally quell the blaze. Fire officials estimated the total damage to the structure could total $12 million.

But on Tuesday, CSU officials were still trying to determine the extent of the damage to the equine program, said CSU spokeswoman Dell Rae Moellenberg.

"The roof of the building came down, so it will take a couple of days to figure out what contents were damaged," Moellenberg said.

The building included offices for the program's researchers as well as labs. There was also a clinical-services area where horses were brought to be examined by veterinarians and students, she said.

"There was some research done there, and there was some computer data, but as far as how much data was available elsewhere or the extent of the damage, we are several days from figuring that out," said Moellenberg.

The lab is part of the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory at CSU. Started in 1967, the laboratory has evolved into an internationally known program of clinical service, education and research, according to CSU.

Over the past 30 years, techniques such as collection of semen and artificial insemination, recovery and transfer of equine embryos, and shipping of cooled semen and cooled embryos have been developed and are now routinely used in the equine industry, CSU said.

Staffers will be temporarily moved to other buildings.

"We want to make this as smooth as possible for the people who work there," Moellenberg said.

Monte Whaley: 720-929-0907 or mwhaley@denverpost.com

Fire Destroys Equine Lab On CSU Campus

Fire Destroys Equine Lab On CSU Campus

No Horses Hurt In Blaze; Cause Under Investigation

POSTED: 6:41 am MDT July 26, 2011
UPDATED: 6:48 am MDT July 27, 2011
 
An investigator with the Poudre Fire Authority said it could take days, weeks or even months to determine the cause of a blaze which destroyed the world-renowned Equine Reproduction lab on Colorado State University’s Foothills campus.“A passerby noticed flames around 1 a.m. Tuesday and called 911,” said Capt. Patrick Love, the authority’s public affairs officer. “By the time fire crews arrived, flames were shooting through the roof and 20 feet into the air.”“Damage estimates for the building alone could reach $15 million,” Love said.
 

Firefighters, CSU police, students, faculty and volunteers rushed to evacuate several horses from nearby barns.One volunteer, Andrew Bishop, told 7NEWS that people in the horse community are very concerned, not just about the loss of the building but about the content.Bishop said some of that content may be irreplaceable.“There may have been hundreds if not millions of dollars worth of frozen semen from some very prominent stallions,” Bishop said, “so yeah, a lot of irreplaceable things.”Professor Jason Bruemmer said some samples may have been lost, but he said, “It’s just part of the building and contents. The main thing is that no humans or horses were hurt.”Bruemmer said the CSU lab is world famous for its equine reproduction capability.“It was the first research center to split equine embryos and to have foals born from frozen semen and frozen embryos," Bruemmer said.He recalled the story about a mare named Tuesday who was critically injured during the 2008 Windsor tornado.Her leg was crushed when a shed, ripped from its moorings, fell on the mare. She was euthanized.Researchers removed her ovaries and recovered 20 eggs.They created four embryos with sperm injection and implanted them in a surrogate.“That work was done in this building,” Bruemmer said.“It was a remarkable achievement,” said Colin Clay, head of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at CSU, “and this place has been known for a lot of remarkable achievements. I think it will continue to do that.”Clay said it will take some time to recover from the devastating fire.He said the blaze destroyed expensive high-tech equipment used to impregnate mares and monitor their pregnancies.Investigators used a crane Tuesday afternoon to remove sections of the heavily damaged roof.“There is a potential for more collapse,” Love said. “They can’t focus on the investigation until they remove that danger.”When a 7NEWS crew arrived just after 2 a.m., there was still a lot of smoke and fire coming from the building, located at 3103 Rampart Road, west of Fort Collins.It took a while to get the fire under control because it was a defensive attack, Love said.The facility is a complete loss, Love said.

CSU lab blaze turned over to specialized bomb, fire investigators

CSU lab blaze turned over to specialized bomb, fire investigators

Posted: 07/29/2011 03:02:31 PM MDT
Updated: 07/29/2011 03:10:29 PM MDT
By Monte Whaley
The Denver Post

 

The Colorado State University Equine Reproductive Laboratory in Fort Collins was destroyed by fire on Tuesday morning. (Denver Post file photo)
 

Several agencies — including the FBI and the Northern Colorado Bomb Squad — are helping to investigate the cause of the fire that destroyed the main office of the Equine Reproduction Laboratory at Colorado State University on Tuesday.

But the presence of those agencies doesn't necessarily mean the fire was deliberately set, said Poudre Fire Authority Patrick Love Friday.

They are usually called into help when the structure is large and has a "higher dollar value," Love said. "Frankly, they come in with a great deal of resources and expertise we can utilize."

The fire caused $9 million to $15 million in damage, Love said. But the cause of the blaze is still undetermined and it may be weeks before one is established, he said.

No people or animals were hurt in the blaze, which was reported at 1 a.m. at the Equine Reproduction Laboratory complex at CSU's Foothills Campus.

The office building included some labs but it's not known yet how much critical material was lost in the fire, CSU officials said.

Agencies working with the Poudre Fire Authority and CSU Police include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, FBI, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the Longmont Fire Department and the Northern Colorado Bomb Squad.

Monte Whaley: 720-929-0907 or mwhaley@denverpost.com

 

CSU equine lab destroyed in early morning fire

CSU equine lab destroyed in early morning fire

Posted: 07/26/2011 07:52:07 AM MDT
Updated: 07/26/2011 04:41:30 PM MDT
By Jordan Steffen and Monte Whaley
The Denver Post
The Colorado State University Equine Reproductive Laboratory in Fort Collins was destroyed by fire on Tuesday morning. (Hyoung Chang / The Denver Post)

Equine Lab Fire

The Colorado State University Equine Reproductive Laboratory in Fort Collins was destroyed by fire early this morning.

Firefighters were called to CSU's Foothills campus around 1 a.m. on reports of 20-foot-high flames coming from one of the buildings, Poudre Fire Authority spokesman Patrick Love said.

When they arrived, flames were coming through the roof of the laboratory, located at 3103 Rampart Road.

The building's roof collapsed while as many as 28 firefighters fought the blaze. Love called the lab a total loss.

The Fort Collins Coloradoan said the fire caused $12 million in damage, however CSU spokeswoman Dell Rae Moellenbert said the university has not put an official price tag on the cost the loss.

The building's roof collapsed while as many as 28 firefighters fought the blaze. Love called the lab a total loss. (Poudre Fire Authority | handout)

Firefighters, faculty and students helped evacuate horses in a nearby building. No people or animals were injured.

Officials today were reassuring callers that no horses were injured during the blaze, Mollenberg said."We've received a ton of calls," she said. But the horses were safely evacuated from a building near the lab and moved to another facility. "They were basically moved from one barn to another."

Monte Whaley: 720-929-0907 or mwhaley@denverpost.com

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