Colorado Fires Destroy 991 Buildings; Three People Missing
(Bloomberg) -- The historic wildfires that flashed across Boulder County, Colorado, destroyed almost 1,000 buildings and left three people missing, officials said Saturday.
As the New Year dawned, officials said flames destroyed a total of 991 structures and damaged 127 others in the City of Louisville, the Town of Superior and unincorporated sections of Boulder County, according to a statement issued by the City of Louisville. The figures are in line with earlier estimates.
Meantime, emergency services organized cadaver teams to search for the missing, Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said at a news briefing. There have been no other reports of deaths or potential casualties.
The wildfires broke out Thursday about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of Denver and snow Saturday helped dampen the smoldering debris. The cause is under investigation, officials said.
First responders were praised for swift evacuation as flames bore down on the communities, and employees of Centura-Avista Adventist Hospital in Louisville were credited with saving the structure.
“Flames came within four feet of the highly flammable oxygen tanks located on the west side of the building, but staff fought back the flames with hoses, avoiding what could have been a catastrophic explosion,” according to a hospital statement.
The Town of Superior said on its Twitter account that authorities are working to allow evacuees to return, adding “we feel your frustration and are doing what we can.”
“It’s bittersweet because we have our house, but our friends don’t. And our neighbors don’t,” Judy Givens, a resident of Louisville, told the Associated Press. “We thought 2022 might be better. And then we had omicron. And now we have this, and it’s not starting out very well.”
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