Saturday evening was quiet as Cody Freischlag and his girlfriend watched a movie in the half of a duplex cabin he rents on Upper Bear Creek Road.
The next thing they knew, the chimney was on fire, and it spread quickly to the rest of the house that was built in the early 1900s. The two ran outside and alerted the neighbor on the other side of the cabin. They got out, and Freischlag lost everything but the clothes he was wearing. His girlfriend lives in Denver.
Freischlag’s car, however, made it through relatively unscathed.
Evergreen Fire/Rescue received the 911 call at 10:15 p.m. Saturday, and 25 firefighters and eight fire trucks with mutual-aid help worked to contain the blaze and make sure it didn’t start a wildfire.
Freischlag thanked Evergreen Fire/Rescue and Jeffco Sheriff’s deputies for their efforts.
“They were really caring,” he said. “They went above and beyond.”
The Courier could not locate the tenant in the other side of the duplex.
Freischlag, 25, a tennis pro at The Club at Rolling Hills in Golden, is staying with his parents in Lakewood until he can get back on his feet. His colleagues at the country club provided him with proper attire, so he could go to work Tuesday.
He visited the cabin on Sunday, hoping to find something that hadn’t turned to ash.
“It was good to see the house,” he said. “It brought closure. Inside, there’s nothing that even resembles my things. It was black and empty.”
His dresser, though black from the fire, was still standing. Firefighters still at the scene looked in a compartment of the dresser to find a watch that had sentimental value, though Freischlag said it was pretty black.
A GoFundMe page has been started to help him buy everything he needs to resume his life, and he’ll be looking for a place to rent in Evergreen soon. He has renter’s insurance, but so far, he has not gotten much help from the company.
Freischlag moved to Evergreen in June and was evacuated in July because of the Elephant Butte Fire, so his time here has been pretty tough.
However, “I want to stay in Evergreen,” Freischlag said. “It’s become my new home, and the community is amazing.”