ELIZABETH, Colo. (CBS4) – Friends and total strangers are giving back to a Colorado family that has already done so much to help others in need.

The Hove family’s home just outside Elizabeth burned to the ground last Wednesday. Now what the community calls a very generous family has found itself in need right now.

An image from the fire (credit: CBS)

An image from the fire (credit: CBS)

Usually homeowner James Hove is responding to disasters. He works with a group that rescues animals in emergency situations such as floods and fires. Last fall he and his son rode into some of the hardest hit flood areas to save dozens of animals left behind by owners who were forced to evacuate.

“I don’t need much, I always take care of things myself,” Hove said. “It’s different to be on the other side of something where I don’t really quite know what to think about it.”

An explosion completely destroyed the Hove’s home and everything inside. Multiple fire agencies from all over Eastern Colorado fought to get the fire under control, but the home was a total loss.

“It seemed surreal, I was just in shock. I have helped a lot of people when that sort of thing has happened, but you never think of it happening to yourself,” Hove said.

Their ranch was home to more than 40 animals — most of them rescued by their family. Hove says almost all of the animals are accounted for, but still missing is the family dog “Roper.” Neighbors who witnessed the fire say he made it out safety, but Hove says he hasn’t been seen since,

“The house and stuff is replaceable, there were a lot of sentimental things, but he’s probably the most important thing for us to find,” Hove said.

Despite losing everything, Hove says they will turn tragedy into an opportunity to help even more people in the future.

“Expand and go bigger, I guess,” he said.

Family and friends have set up a fund to help get the Hove family back on their feet. Visit FleetOfAngels.org for more information.


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