Teller County woman shares experience evacuating during the High Park Fire

Teller County woman shares experience evacuating during the High Park Fire
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 12:15 AM MDT|Updated: May. 16, 2022 at 5:03 AM MDT
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TELLER COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - Evacuation orders were still in place Sunday as crews continued to fight the High Park Fire in Teller County. One woman is sharing what it was like for her family to evacuate and what they are going through.

Brenna Fandrei says she was out of town when a friend texted her to see if she was okay. Fandrei had no idea there was even a fire. She and her kids rushed home to evacuate all their animals.

“I saw flames and smoke on the hill, and I instantly started crying ... I had my four children with me too and everybody was upset,” said Fandrei.

They only had minutes to grab a few belongings and evacuate to her family’s home in Woodland Park.

“At that point the cops are coming up to the house saying, ‘You guys gotta go. You gotta go.’ So it was chaotic, but we got out of there. We got the horse trailer hooked up and got the horses out, got the animals, dogs, cats, and the goat,” said Fandrei. “I just grabbed the safe. I grabbed a laundry basket that was on my bed.”

Fondrei says it was tough trying to get everything together, especially since she had an 8-month-old with her. Her husband had been at work and was on his way to meet them. She says her 9-year-old son was a big help.

“He stayed calm. He helped get the dogs and the cats and the goat loaded. I was just so beyond proud of him. I was just really kind of surprised how much he stepped up in that moment,” said Fondrei.

She says they’ve been trying to keep up to date with what’s happening, which has been tough at times because of bad service.

“We couldn’t get any information for like two hours or so after waiting for news station to be able to upload,” said Fandrei. “It feels like forever when you’re worried and you’re not at home and it wasn’t like we planned to not be at home, which I think is what is really stressful for us.”

However, she says she is grateful to everyone fighting this fire.

“It’s very stressful, but I’m so beyond thankful to everybody who has volunteered and who has helped. It’s been a huge blessing to have those people. And they’ve been practicing. I know they have,” said Fandrei.

As of Sunday, officials say that no homes have been lost.

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