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Denver Firefighters Describe 300 Homes Destroyed ‘Like a Movie Scene’

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Video taken by Denver Firefighter Lt. Mike Somma shows a home burning in the Waldo Canyon Fire (credit: Mike Somma)

Video taken by Denver Firefighter Lt. Mike Somma shows a home burning in the Waldo Canyon Fire (credit: Mike Somma)

Investigator Brian Maass

DENVER (CBS4)- A team of Denver firefighters called in to help battle the Waldo fire, have returned to their station telling CBS4 an estimated 300 homes have burned to the ground.

“And this morning when we left the estimate was 300 homes totally gone,” said Denver Fire Department Lt. Mike Somma.

Asked about the estimate Somma repeated that his crews believed the fire had destroyed 300 homes “and possibly more today if the wind conditions keep up.”

The Denver fire department sent 20 firefighters and five engines to the Waldo fire at about 7 p.m. Tuesday.

“I’m a veteran of 20 years,” said Somma, “and it was like a movie scene, like a bomb went off.”

He said at about 8:30 p.m. the Denver crews began trying to protect homes and douse other homes that were already burning.

They turned on sprinkler systems and garden hoses to quell the flames. Somma said when they found homes with patio furniture with cushions; they would toss the cushions far from the homes to eliminate potential fuel sources for the flames.

“The whole side of the mountain was on fire- that’s the only way I could describe it to you,” said Somma.

He said his team helped save 11 homes in the inferno.

“One house would be burned to the ground and another would be standing next to it and the next one would be on fire,” said Somma.

- Written by Brian Maass for CBSDenver.com

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