WALDO CANYON FIRE: 5 years since the smoke settled

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — All week long, we’ve been reflecting on five years since the second most destructive fire in Colorado’s history.

Days after the Waldo Canyon Fire, FOX21 followed one man’s emotional journey as he returned to his home in Mountain Shadows, to find nearly nothing left behind.

Now we’re catching back up with him to see what life is like five years since the smoke settled.

More than 60 years’ worth of items and memories collected throughout Bobby Finch’s marriage to his wife Caroline filled their home on Hot Springs Court, but after the fire destroyed them they’ve spent the last five years building new ones.

Finch said, “Nobody expected that fire to come over the mountain, nobody did.”

Even as Finch watched the glow of the flames moving in on the city, it didn’t quite hit him until he first drove through what used to be his neighborhood.

“I had to look twice and make sure I was on the right street,” said Finch. “It just doesn’t soak in until you actually see it.”

Everything in the fire’s path turned to rubble and ash.

“There’s the side of my house right there.” Finch said. “That looks like the bathroom window.”

Looking back now, there are a lot of things Finch wishes he would’ve saved when they evacuated.

“We had 13 picture albums and all of those are gone,” said Finch.

But even going from evacuee to survivor, the one thing Finch never called he was a victim.

Finch said, “You just couldn’t cry over spilled milk, so you might as well accept it the way it is and just go on with your life and this is exactly what we did.”

Even though there are many things they will never get back, they rebuilt from the ground up.

“It’s on the same lot, in the same place, designed the same way,” said Finch. “The only thing we changed was put about 4 or 3 feet on the other end of it.”

Like signs of life starting to come back where flames once engulfed, a burn scar is just that – something that over time will heal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s