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Marshall Fire cause could be released 'early in the new year'

The Boulder County Sheriff's Office on Thursday released 60 new body camera videos from the fire response.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — As we approach one year since the Marshall Fire killed two people and destroyed more than 1,000 homes in Louisville and Superior, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office announced that they hope to complete their investigation into its cause "early in the new year."

The fire, which burned more than 6,000 acres, sparked just after 11 a.m. on Dec. 30 near Marshall Road and Highway 93 in Boulder County. Robert Sharpe, 69, and Nadine Turnball, 91, died as a result of the fire.

On Thursday, the sheriff's office called their investigation into the fire "open and active" and said they've followed up on more than 200 tips. They said Thursday that after the final investigation and review are complete, they'll release the cause and origin report. 

BURNED: The Story Behind the Marshall Fire

That number does not include interviews of first responders who responded to the initial report of the fire, or the photos and videos maintained by the Sheriff’s Office and other first responders.

Employees involved in that initial response and subsequent investigation captured 266 body-worn camera videos, and 450 photos were captured using the body-worn camera photo evidence system. 

WATCH BELOW: BURNED: Six Hours in December

The sheriff's office said it collected 186 items of evidence, including 49 physical items and 137 pieces of digital evidence, such as drone footage used to document the scene and photographs taken by witnesses and investigators.

Each item, photograph or video has been reviewed multiple times as part of the investigation, the sheriff's office said Thursday. The agency also provided a list of potential causes for the fire, but cautioned that they were only "possible sources" and that some of them were eliminated early in the investigation.

The list includes:

  • Lightning
  • Equipment use such as mechanical failure of a vehicle or equipment usage without a spark arrestor
  • Smoking or cigarettes thrown from a vehicle
  • Campfires in the area
  • Debris burning
  • The use of fireworks
  • Children playing with matches
  • Potential underground coal mine fires
  • Electrical supply infrastructure
  • And other possible sources such as welding, grinding and target shooting

On Thursday the sheriff's office released 60 additional body-worn camera videos from the Marshall Fire. With the latest release, the sheriff's office said that all of the footage captured on Dec. 30 from the area east of Cherryvale Road has been released.

The videos can be found here. Footage captured west of Cherryvale Road will not be released until the final cause and origin are released, according to the sheriff's office.

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