Retired teacher dies in Ken Caryl fire

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By Emile Hallez

The county coroner identified a retired Chatfield High School English teacher as the victim of a Sept. 8 fire in her Ken Caryl home.

Firefighters discovered the body of Jessica Perry Onesty, 68, after extinguishing a blaze that consumed much of the back of her home at 18 Canyon Cedar.

The coroner has yet to determine a cause of death, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman said. The fire’s origin also had not been released at press time by West Metro Fire Rescue, which responded to the fire.

West Metro Fire Rescue received an emergency call shortly before 6 a.m., and 23 firefighters responded, assistant fire chief Scott Rogers said. The fire was almost completely extinguished about five minutes later, he said.

Firefighters rescued a dog from the home, which they later placed in a neighbor’s care.

The blaze consumed a portion of the back of the home, and firefighters noticed flames coming out of windows and burning portions of the roof and attic.

“It was pretty extensive in the back part of the house,” Rogers said of the damage. “Flames burned on the outside of it and damaged the eaves.”

Onesty worked full-time for Jeffco Public Schools from 1975 to 2000 and served as a substitute teacher until 2006. In 1975, she taught at Wheat Ridge Junior High School and later took jobs in South Jeffco, working at Deer Creek Middle School from 1989 to 1990 and at Chatfield High School from 1990 to 2000.


Contact Emile Hallez Williams at emile@evergreenco.comor 303-933-2233, ext. 22. For updates, check www.ColumbineCourier.com.