A Springs soldier deployed to Africa learned his home was destroyed in the Waldo Canyon fire through a text message.
U.S. Army Captain Immanual Mgana was four months into a deployment in the Horn of Africa when the fire raced down the mountainside and into a heavily residential area of Colorado Springs, destroying 346 homes.
His wife Melissa was at home with the couple's three children when she saw flames rapidly approaching behind her home.
"When I saw that fire come over the ridge is when I really knew that it was possibly very serious...I just said, 'We have to get out of here.'"
Melissa scrambled into the car with her children and drove them to safety.
The bad news came later that evening when she saw a photo from The Denver Post, showing her home front and center, engulfed in flames.
Meanwhile in Africa, her husband was following the news on his smart phone when the same photo appeared. A short time later, he got his wife's text, saying their home was gone.
Less than 24 hours after receiving the news, the Army had Immanual on a plane headed for Colorado.
Right now, the family is staying in a hotel until they figure out what's next. They say they are keeping a positive outlook, and looking at this event as a new beginning.
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