Fire investigators determined a house fire Thursday near Buena Vista, which claimed the lives of Megan Reed, 31, and her son Michael Werner, was unintentional and probably started in the kitchen area.

Chaffee County Fire Protection District Chief Robert Bertram said the home had already been burning for about a half hour when they received the page.

He said one side of the building was fully involved by the time firefighters arrived.

Bertram said he didn’t believe the home had functional smoke detectors.

Two members of the Reed family, John Reed and his young daughter, escaped the blaze.

Both were initially transported to Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center in Salida.

John Reed was transferred to a Front Range burn unit and the daughter was released to family members.

Counseling was offered to classmates of Michael Werner, a fifth-grader at Avery-Parsons Elementary School, Friday at the school.

Counselors also met with firefighters who responded to the scene, Bertram said.

A gofundme page was started for the family by John Reed’s aunt, Elizabeth Prosser, with a $5,000 goal. As of Monday $2,595 had been donated.

Access the gofundme page at and search for Nephew John’s fire fund.

Bertram said smoke alarms are available for those who need them through local fire departments.

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