Two trailers in Empire’s Clear Creek Trailer Park were completely destroyed in an overnight fire on April 8.
Another trailer was damaged by the flames, and a few others suffered smoke damage, according to the Empire Police Department. A vehicle also was completely destroyed.
No one was injured, and the cause is still under investigation.
Around 1:10 a.m., a structure fire was reported at 257 E. Park Ave. with flames visible and a woman inside, trying to get her pets out.
She was able to make it out safely, although the pets likely died in the fire, according to Deputy Chief Andrew Lorenz.
While three firefighting agencies and other emergency personnel responded, high winds made extinguishing the blaze difficult. In addition to the homes and a vehicle, the fire also damaged telephone poles and trees in the area.
For the three households whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged, Lorenz stated the Red Cross and the Clear Creek County Advocates were helping them find temporary housing. Residents on Facebook were looking to donate clothing, toiletries, and other items.
If community members wish to donate goods, Lorenz said they can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call his work cell at 303-995-2135.
Additionally, two of the impacted households have set up GoFundMe pages.
Deborah Celli described how she lost her beloved dog and two cats in the fire, along with all her personal belongings. As of 10 a.m. on April 11, 35 people had donated $3,550 toward her $10,000 goal.
Additionally, Mark Krebs has a page set up by his neighbors, the Romines. Krebs only had time “to grab his slippers and wallet” before evacuating his home. While he has a place to stay, he has lost everything, the GoFundMe page states. On April 11, 18 people had donated $1,235 toward the $30,000 goal.
“It was just so fast,” neighbor Susan Lange said. “It was a lot of devastation in very little time.”
As she was standing outside her home in the afternoon on April 8, Lange watched the nearby debris smolder and worried about her neighbors who lost their homes.
She recalled waking up to the sound of someone banging on her door. She smelled smoke and, as she grabbed a jacket, saw flames outside her dining room window.
Lange described how “fire departments from everywhere” had lined up around the property, as she and her neighbors were evacuated to Town Hall. Staff members had water and coffee available while everyone waited. Lange was thankful to have “a warm place to be.”
Eventually, she and her husband headed to Georgetown and got a hotel room for the night to catch some sleep while they waited. After they returned in the morning, they opened their unit’s windows to clear out the smell of smoke.
Lange thanked all the first responders for getting everyone out safely, and the town staff for all their help during the evacuation.
Contact reporter Corinne Westeman at email@example.com, and follow her on Twitter @cwesteman.