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Second Death Of Waldo Canyon Fire Reported, 346 Homes Destroyed

By: KKTV
By: KKTV

Two bodies were found on consecutive days in one of the homes destroyed by the Waldo Canyon Fire.

The Waldo Canyon fire has destroyed a preliminary estimate of 346 homes on 35 streets. That exceeds the previous Colorado record, set by the High Park fire earlier this month.

Both bodies were found in the ashes of a property at 2910 Rossmere St. Police Chief Pete Carey says the families have been informed.

A total of less than 10 others were reported missing Thursday, but have since been accounted for.

Thursday's update revised the estimated size of the fire downward, and it increased only slightly to a new total of 17,073 acres. That size remained unchanged Friday, but containment increased to 30percent.

A meeting for residents of these impacted homes began at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Gallogly Events Center at UCCS: Trevor Lane, Linger Way, Rossmere Street, Tallesson Court, Sandray Court, Majestic Drive, Ravina Court, Regal View Road, Stoneridge Drive, Heartstone Lane, Karamy Court, Lionsgate Lane, Hot Springs Court, Jenner Court, Brogans Bluff, Darien Way, Rayburn Way, Braeburn Way, Tamora Way, Mirror Lake Court, Wilson Road, Harbor Pines Point, Yankton Place, Chambrey Court, Charing Court, Ashton Park Place, Courtney Drive, Vantage Vista Drive, Vantage Ridge Court, Huffman Court, Aubrey Way, Van Reen Drive, Alabaster Way, Lanagan Street, Capra Way.

A map of impacted properties was made available on the city's website.

Wednesday and Thursday proved a dramatic contrast to Tuesday, when the northwest side of the city was became the backdrop a natural disaster of historic proportions. Sunny streets suddenly turned black as gigantic plumes of smoke took over the city, chunks of ash raining down as the Waldo Canyon fire raced into neighborhoods on the city's northwest side.

"It was like living inside a horror movie," was how one resident put it, echoing the sentiments of an entire community facing what seemed unthinkable just hours before: a devastating fire breaching Colorado Springs.

The mountains on the northwest side of town turned orange Tuesday evening as flames continued their march into town. A number of evacuating residents remarked later that there were moments they feared for their lives, trapped in bottleneck traffic while fast-moving flames closed in.

Tuesday's perfect storm of record breaking heat, strong winds, dry air and dry fuel, gave the fire enough of a push to get it into Queens Canyon.

"We had a very difficult day," Incident Commander Rich Harvey said. "The fire was able to breach our primary and secondary containment lines."

Once inside the canyon, the fire blew through it, soon becoming an immediate threat to homes in the neighborhoods east of Rockrimmon. Evacuation orders were expanded late Tuesday afternoon north to the Air Force Academy, south to Garden of the Gods Road and east to I-25. That later expanded further south to Fillmore west of Centennial and a strip of Fontanero between Mesa Road and North 30th.

When the terrifying ordeal eased up, 26,000 people were left temporarily displaced, bringing the total evacuated from the Waldo Canyon fire up to 32,000. An unknown number of those were left homeless after the fire destroyed their residence. The fire continued to burn in the Mountain Shadows area Wednesday morning, preventing firefighters from going in and assessing the damage. This left evacuees with no choice but to wait to find out whether or not they still have a home.

More than 20,000 residences and 160 commercial structures were counted among the threatened buildings Wednesday morning.

The Flying W Ranch, a staple of Colorado Springs for almost 60 years, burned to the ground. A popular tourist attraction, people around the country took to Facebook to comment on how heartbroken they were over the news.

"All the bright spots...when you got closer you saw they were people's homes," Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said upon arriving in Colorado Springs by helicopter Tuesday night.

"This is a firestorm of epic proportions," Colorado Springs Fire Chief Richard Brown said.

Brown stressed that though homes were lost, firefighting efforts allowed others to be saved.

"We are saving many, many homes...we are triaging homes," Brown said.

The fire also tested established containment lines around Cascade and the Cedar Heights subdivision, but the lines held held.

A complete list of all locations still under mandatory evacuations or pre-evacuation orders can be found by clicking here.

A complete list of important phone numbers and resources for those seeking information or wanting to help is available by clicking here.


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