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Fire Evacuees Describe Running Out Of Home ‘As Fast As Possible’

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GALLERIES: COLORADO'S WORST WILDFIRES

PEYTON, Colo. (CBS4) – Devastating wildfires have touched the lives of many Colorado Springs-area families last year and again this year, and CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann’s family is among those whose lives have been altered.

This week’s Black Forest Fire is just one more reminder of how evacuation orders can come in very unexpectedly and how it’s always good to be prepared, Werthmann reported on Tuesday night.

Burned structures in the Black Forest Fire burn area on June 12, 2013. (credit: CBS)

Burned structures in the Black Forest Fire burn area on June 12, 2013. (credit: CBS)

Werthmann’s family had to evacuate during the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs last year. At one point Werthmann showed in a CBS4 newscast how trying it was to pack up belongings and leave quickly. Her family wound up staying with their friends the Partridge family, and luckily their home was spared.

On Tuesday the Patridge had to evacuate from the Black Forest Fire and now they are staying with Werthmann’s family, who has since moved to a home in Peyton west of Colorado Springs.

The Patridges live in a four bedroom house on a 10 acre lot in the center of the Black Forest near where structures burned on Tuesday. They have a ranch with several animals on it.

On Tuesday afternoon friends alerted members of the family about the fire. Each of them rushed back to the house. They thought they were in a safe area and didn’t get any word about evacuations. They didn’t receive any reverse 911 calls.

They did see some smoke and flames, though, but they thought the fire was far enough away. They packed up some items just in case.

Then a police officer showed up on their doorstep and said “It’s time to go.”

“They told us the fire had burnt the school right next to us and it was less than a mile away. So I would say for those people who are just outside the evacuation zone, whether it’s mandatory or voluntary, collect your stuff, because we ran out. We literally ran out the doors and packed up the cars and drove as fast as we could away,” said one of the members of the family.

Werthmann said late Tuesday night they are now waiting for information about their home and hoping firefighters battling the fire stay safe.

Wildfire Resources

- Visit CBSDenver.com’s Wildfire Resources section.

- Read recent Wildfire stories.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

- See images from the most destructive wildfires (Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

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