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Officials confirm Colorado couple died together in East Troublesome Fire

Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 6:13 PM MDT
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GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - Friday night, officials from Grand County confirmed a Colorado couple died in the East Troublesome Fire.

Before this was confirmed with officials, a man told 11 News he’s certain his grandparents perished together as a result of the massive blaze.

"Pacific Northwest Team 3 and the entire wildland fire community express our deepest condolences to the Hildeman family...

Posted by East Troublesome Fire Info on Friday, October 23, 2020

The wildfire was reported back on Oct. 14 in Grand County but exploded on Wednesday of this week and in a matter of days, it became the second-largest wildfire in Colorado history sitting at an estimated 188,000 acres as of Friday. The towns of Grand Lake and Estes Park were evacuated while the Town of Granby is on pre-evacuation.

11 News Reporter Spencer Wilson spoke with a man who says his grandparents decided to stay on their ranch in Grand Lake, despite the evacuation notice. The man believes they fell victim to the fire while taking cover in their bunker.

“It’s unlikely that anybody has survived,” Brian Hileman explained. “Obviously no one has been in there and confirmed that, but my grandfather has a ham radio and things like that. If they were buried under the rubble in their bunker they would’ve contacted somebody.”

“Wherever they’re at, they’re together,” Brian told 11 News reporter 11 Wilson Friday afternoon as smoke billowed in the background.

Brian says the home of his grandparents, Lyle and Marylin, was completely destroyed. Brian traveled to Grand County on Friday because he said he had to come to see for himself, but last we spoke with him he wasn’t able to get to the house in person.

“We’re praying,” Brian added. “They’re old. They decided to stay together. Where are you going to run when you’re 90 years old? To a nursing home? Leave your legacy and your home that you built with your own two hands? It’s tragic but it’s romantic.”

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