Local News

Fire evacuees say it's waiting game they never wanted to play

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - Plumes of black smoke clouded the sky Wednesday as evacuated homeowners waited for answers about their homes.

The Black Forest fire forced thousands from their homes as crews on the ground and in the air continued to fight the flames.

Homeowner Jaenette Coyne was forced from her home minutes before it went up in flames. She was working from home when she saw her backyard trees in flames. She realized she only had minutes.

'We lost everything. We only had five minutes to get out," said Coyne.

Coyne wondered if her home survived the flames. She found her answer with the click of a remote. Her home was one of several homes captured by news choppers circling the fire when it flared Tuesday afternoon.

"I can't tell you. It was awful just to watch it burn down," said Coyne. "Our cars are there. It was horrible. Unfortunately, it's played over and over and over for the last 12 hours."

Fire evacuees swarmed an updated fire map at the El Paso County Sheriff's press conference at 9 a.m. Evacuees hoped the map would give new insights on the status of their homes. Terry Stokka was still looking for answers.

"We have lived here for 20 years and we love Black Forest. In some ways, the Black Forest has effectively been destroyed. I'm pretty sad about that," said Stokka.

Other fire evacuees said it's a waiting game you never want to play.

"It kind of sucks. I either do or don't have a house. It's not going to change over the next few hours. I can't go out there and find out," said Nigel Thompson.

"We have been there for almost 21 years," said Linda Sherrier. "The house was going to be paid off next year. Hopefully there is a house left."


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