NEDERLAND, Colo. (CBS4) – Among the five homes destroyed in the Cold Springs Fire near Nederland was one belonging to a firefighter battling the flames.
“I don’t think anything has set in yet,” Charlie Schmidtmann with the Nederland Fire Department told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.
The 606-acre fire has burned a total of eight structures to ashes — five homes and three outbuildings. As of Monday evening fire officials said there is still zero percent containment.
Schmidtmann learned his home was among those lost while he was working to protect a neighbor’s home.
“I saw my wife’s truck surrounded by flames,” he said. “So I went to move her truck to a safer spot and when I turned around I just noticed the house was gone. Gone. Not a single wall standing.”
Schmitmann said he really didn’t have time to react to what was in front of him. Then, he thought of his dogs.
“That’s what made me sick to my stomach,” he said.
One of his dogs, a 4-year-old St. Bernard named Geno, is still missing. But without hesitation Schmidtmann kept on with the firefight.
“We went to the neighbor’s house, did some structure protection,” he said. “Then a little further down the road is the chief’s house, so we did some work there too.”
Friends and strangers are rallying together to help the Schmidtmann and his wife. A GoFundMe page raising money for the couple has raised more than $61,000 in just two days.
“Honestly, it makes me uncomfortable,” Schmidtmann said. “I mean we’re not the only ones. There are several people who lost their home. I appreciate the help so much. I actually haven’t even seen it.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Cold Springs Fire
That’s because Schmidtmann is still working on the fire lines. He hopes to give his neighbors better news about their homes.
“We do work here, we do live here,” he said. “The sad part is the way this all was caused.”
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Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now anchors CBS4 Weekend Morning News and reports during the week. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.