ROCKY FORD – A man’s body was discovered by firefighters last week as they sifted through the remains of the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District building.
Authorities have now identified that man as 59-year-old Derald Grasmick.
According to his obituary, Grasmick was born in Rocky Ford in 1959 and graduated from Rocky Ford High School. He worked as the Sales Manager for Arkansas Valley Seeds in Rocky Ford.
Rocky Ford Police said the fire started sometime after 7 p.m. on Wednesday 1/16/2019.
The fire was considered to be considered to be suspicious and is being investigated by the Rocky Ford PD, CBI, and the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control Arson Division.
A huge plume of smoke was visible in the night sky with people as far away as La Junta calling in reports of the fire. Even though there was heavy smoke, officials say the fire damage was minimal. There is considerable smoke damage to the building.
The Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District formed by voters in the November 2002 election serves Pueblo, Crowley, Otero, Bent, and Prowers counties with a board of directors who manage the water resources for the Lower Arkansas River.
Grasmick’s cause of death has yet to be determined, pending an autopsy.