EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - A fire victim made a remarkable discovery as he sifted through burned debris at what used to be his home in Black Forest.
Ted Robertson hosts KRDO Newsradio's Saturday Business Magazine program with Robin Roberts. He knew the home he left one week ago was gone. The Black Forest Fire's flames left him with a pile of charred rubble and ash.
He returned to his property Tuesday afternoon.
"(I felt) a lot of apprehension mixed with tension mixed with excitement and worry," said Roberston.
He didn't expect to find any mementos from the past in the wake of the fire's destruction. The fire stripped his pine trees of their needles and colored them black. His brick fireplace was the only part of his home that survived the flames.
Robertson headed straight for the corner in what used to be his garage. He knew that was where his family used to store their Christmas decorations.
He wanted to find a small Jesus figurine his wife made years ago for their Nativity Scene. It was a treasured family heirloom rich in tradition. His wife would hide the small statue and Christmas festivities couldn't commence until it was found.
The ceramic figurine is the size of a postage stamp. Roberston was looking for a needle in a haystack. If the statue did survive, the tiny piece was buried in large piles of debris and ash.
"I began to see the piece of the nativity scene. And, pulling those out, what started to run through my mind is, 'Is the baby Jesus in tact? Is he still here?'," said Robertson.
Robertson found the answer to his questions. He found the figurine buried in the ashes. It was untouched.
"There will be a million miracles that come from this whole disaster and I think our miracle happened for us today," said Robertson.
Robertson described the state of his property as "bleak." The small statue serves as a symbol of hope for him and his family.
"We thought we would never see a thing that we owned again and we are finding things that are important to us," said Robertson.
"[We've] gone from apprehension to hope now that we are going to recover some parts of our lives that we thought were lost."
Robertson will keep the small Christmas statue close as he picks up the pieces and moved forward.