Couple gives first look at devastation from Spring Fire

Couple shows home devastated by Spring Fire

LA VETA, Colo. - Nearly a week after the Spring Fire first erupted near La Veta last Wednesday, we're getting a look at the devastation affecting residents in the area: everything is charred, the trees are gray, and there is no vegetation left.

So what about the homes in this area? A couple who lives on county road 442 shared their personal story of loss.

"Total devastation. It looked like Hiroshima had another A-bomb dropped on it," Ellen Booth said.

Ash, metal and cinder blocks are all that remains of a property owned for 38 years by Ellen and Larry Booth. Swiping through pictures and video, Ellen remembered more and more to miss.

"I had a house full of antiques, I had my grandmother's stove, I had paintings that my mother painted in college that were 80 years old," Booth said. 

Along with a home built in 1982, they lost an authentic 1920s cabin and a shed. Believe it or not, they consider themselves the lucky ones.

"All my neighbors, that's their primary home. This is just a second home to us," Ellen said.

At first, they went through denial.

"You kind of deny that it happened 'cause you don't know for sure and you have hope," Larry Booth said.

But now, the Booths are angry.

"Whoever is in charge of this just doesn't understand. They need someone who is an administrator, who knows how to do something," Larry Booth said.

The Booth's gave us cell phone video of the drive onto their property. There were no roadblocks, no firefighters, no one to stop them; something they say is indicative of this fire - not enough manpower.

"He kept walking around and saying stuff like, they didn't even try to help me, they didn't even show up," Ellen Booth said.

The Booths want the state to make changes on how it tackles wildfires and provides information to residents.

"It's time to come up with a plan B," Ellen Booth added.

Now, they have to come up with a new plan of their own since this pile of ash and rubble can no longer be where they spend their retirement. The Booths tried to get homeowners insurance but were unable to do so because of recent fires like the Waldo Canyon fire.

"It's like a death, you through a grieving process. It's gone. It's never coming back," Ellen said.

Monday, they called FEMA and the governor's office to find out their options. They're waiting to hear back.

Watch KRDO NewsChannel 13 at 10 p.m. for the full story.

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