EL PASO COUNTY, Colorado - More than 50 families arrived the Prairie Heights Elementary Sunday morning. For some, it was the first time they had seen their neighbors since 250 homes were evacuated Friday afternoon after the Carson-Midway fire erupted. The Care and Share food pantry were providing food for residents who might need some extra help.
Melinda Boughton-Chatman leaned in to hug her neighbor, Chris Lenard. They live just a miles away and were both hesitant to leave their homes as they watched flames come closer.
Boughton-Chatman said, "just trying to get my animals and trying to decide what it is that you take when you don't know if you're going to see your home again." She ended up grabbing a tote full of keepsakes and important documents.
Next, was her animals. She said she put her dogs and cats in the back seat, but her goats were a different story. Boughton-Chatman waved down a neighbor and asked if she could put the goat in his truck. She said, "Our community has come together in so many ways. We've seen people housing people, or people housing people's animals."
Lenard also waited until the very last minute to leave their home. He said the edge of his property where the Fort Carson fire originally jumped. He said, "this is the first fire in 20 years since I've lived out here that was this bad. We've had fires on our fence line before nothing like this one."
The Carson-Midway fire burned just over 3,000 acres, leaving a burn scar that could be seen for miles. A reminder to those who can watch how close flames got to their homes, how lucky they are to still have a home. A total of three homes were destroyed.