BLACK FOREST, Colo. (CBS4) – A report ordered by the Black Forest Fire Department claims firefighters were secretly told to protect the home of a commander with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department.
As hundreds of firefighters battled the flames of the Black Forest fire an independent investigation claims some crews were told to protect one specific house.
In a more that 2,000 page report, the investigator wrote that four firefighters told him their “secret special assignment” was to guard the home of former Emergency Services Cmd. Robert McDonald.
McDonald believes that the new investigative report is completely false.
“At no time did I ever direct resources to try and directly save my house. I was under the assumption that my house had already burned to the ground,” said McDonald.
He says he had sprinklers on his home and kept his property well mitigated which the report confirms.
However, some homes close to his were completely destroyed.
“Fire is a funny thing. There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered that we may never be able to answer because it’s a fire. There were terrible conditions that day and it’s awful that we lost houses,” said McDonald.
Sheriff Terry Maketa calls the report “slanderous” adding that it has only created more confusion to an already complicated situation.
“A lot of this report is fabricated and I want to see evidence to support the opinions included in here,” said Maketa.
Names of the firefighters who allegedly told the investigator, hired by the Black Forest Fire Protection District, were left out of the report.
Some victims of Colorado’s most destructive wildfire aren’t buying the claims made in the report.
“If it was true, that would have come out a long time ago,” said victim Rick Nearhoof.
The Black Forest Fire Protection District could not comment on the firefighter tactics but did say that the report speaks for itself.