Homeowners thankful for firefighters’ work in Milne Fire

Milne Fire
Damage left from Milne Fire / Michael Duran -- FOX21 News

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — The investigation into the cause of the Milne fire is still underway.

The grass fire was reported Monday and was fully contained the next day.

It was something Myrna Harris wasn’t prepared for.

“I came to the kitchen, looked out the sliding door right there and all I could see was smoke. And by the time I went and found my cat and grabbed him, I could barely see to get to the garage here to get to the car,” said Myrna Harris, who has lived in the area since 2001.

Harris says they’ve had fires before, but nothing that came within feet to her home.

It spread quickly with the help of 45 mph wind gusts, burning 5,000 acres.

It happened about 10 miles east of Fountain near the small community of Hanover.

“We could just see the red flames just go all the way down here and hit that farm over there,” Harris said.

No homes were destroyed, but a handful of outbuildings were damaged.

“I mean I’m sorry, god’s hands are just all over this and that’s exactly how I feel. I can’t believe it came straight through our property, went around houses, missed our houses completely, missed our buildings, missed our things, our barn. It missed everything in that fence. I mean, you can’t beat that. If people you love get out, everything else is stuff that can be replaced,” said Donna Stephenson, who has lived in the area for 20 years.

Smoke was visible nearly 30 miles away from the flames.

“We weren’t warned. The phone lines were down and none of us were warned. My mom lives next door and my sister-in-law, we never got a call. All we saw, ’cause it was coming so fast because of the wind and we knew, it’s time go now. We don’t grab nothing, except my cat,” Harris said.

El Paso County’s Engineering and Disaster Assessment teams were out inspecting the damages Tuesday.

One firefighter was hurt battling the flames, but is expected to be okay.

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