Officials Now Count 2 People Missing After Fire

Family says 91-year-old woman couldn't escape her burning home
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2022 2:20 PM CST
Officials Now Count 2 People Missing After Fire
The remains of a home destroyed by a pair of wildfires is blanketed by snow Saturday in Superior, Colo.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

After wildfires races through two Colorado towns on Thursday, local officials said no one was killed, which the sheriff said would be "our very own New Year’s miracle." Now they're worried that the announcement was premature, the Denver Post reports. Local officials had been working through a list of hundreds of missing residents. "We were able to clear all but two of them," said a spokeswoman for the Boulder Office of Emergency Management. Condition. Jennifer Churchill asked Saturday for the public's understanding about the error, saying conditions are difficult and "information is coming from multiple channels."

No names were released, but a relative said one of the missing is a 91-year-old woman whose family couldn't get her out of her burning home. "They tried to go out the front door with the neighbor. It was engulfed," he said. "Checked the back door, it was engulfed." Pushed by 100mph winds, the fire burned more than 6,000 acres and as many as 1,000 homes and businesses in the Denver suburbs of Superior and Louisville. At least seven injuries were reported. The cause of the fire has not been determined.

For those still searching through the rubble, conditions worsened overnight. Temperatures were in the single digits Saturday in the area, after at least 6 inches of snow fell. Still, the smell of smoke lingered, per the AP. As she looked over the snow-covered remains of her Louisville house, Judy Delaware said the loss "just felt like a punch to the stomach," per CNN. "It's just so surreal to be able to even fathom, everything you own is just gone. Gone," she said. (More Colorado wildfires stories.)

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