COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)– Several neighborhoods evacuated for the Waldo Canyon Fire burning in Colorado Springs were allowed to return home Thursday evening. One person was confirmed found dead in the fire.
Officials announced at 10:30 p.m. Thursday that one person was found dead inside a home that had burned. How that person died was being investigated. The death could be ruled a homicide if the fire is determined to be arson.
Residents in the following neighborhoods were allowed to return home at 8 p.m. The southeast area of Rockrimmon including Golden Hills and Tammaron subdivisions, Pine Cliff, Kissing Camels (east of 30th Street from Gateway Road to Garden of the Gods Road), Holland Park, Pleasant Valley, the apartment complex at Garden of the Gods Road and 30th Street.
All other areas remain under mandatory evacuation, including Cedar Heights, west of 30th Street from Gateway Road to Centennial, Pinon Valley, Mountain Shadows, Perregrine, Rockrimmon (northwest of Woodman Road/Rockrimmon Blvd. and Vindicator).
A total of 346 homes has been destroyed in the Waldo Canyon Fire. Some homeowners were notified of their loss Thursday evening.
“Our house burned on the night of her birthday so it will definitely be an emotional day for her,” said Rebecca Largent, when describing how her daughter will remember the fire after she learned that she lost the home she shared with her family.
“We’re sad, of course, we lost a lot of possessions that some are easily replaceable but some are not,” said Rebecca’s husband Byron Largent. “The one thing that we’re both hanging onto is the rocking chair that we rocked our baby to sleep in for a full year.”
Others were happy to return home.
“I’m very grateful. It’s just an awesome feeling knowing that this neighborhood is going to be able to get back into their home,” said one resident who returned home Thursday evening.
Some Air Force Academy evacuees will be allowed to return at 5 a.m. Friday.
The fire is human caused but authorities haven’t released any specific information. Both the FBI and the ATF are assisting authorities in the investigation.
Despite strong wind gusts on Wednesday, the fire experienced the smallest amount of growth in a day since it started on June 23.
“We made significant progress today. The weather cooperated with us today like it has on no other day since this fire started,” said Pike National Forest spokesman Gerri Marr.
The fire is now listed at 18,500 acres and it is about 15 percent contained. The Red Cross has five different shelters set up. (Full Story)
The fire started on June 23 in the Pike National Forest and tripled in size on Tuesday in extreme heat and heavy winds.