By Melissa Garcia

BASALT, Colo. (CBS4)– A Basalt volunteer firefighter has lost his home, along with two others that were destroyed, in the Lake Christine Fire burning near El Jebel.

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Cleve Williams’ home burned to the ground Thursday, as he and other firefighters saved countless other homes from destruction.

(credit: CBS)

“They’re sort of these all-American unsung heroes,” said Angel Cusick, an El Jebel resident who started an online fundraiser for Williams.

Cleve Williams (credit: Cleve Williams)

“We thought the whole place was going to turn into cinders. It was like Dante’s Inferno,” Cusick said of the blaze that was at thirty percent containment Sunday night.

Lake Christine Fire (credit: Sander Olson via Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District)

Williams, a longtime volunteer firefighter, did not hesitate to put his life on the line and his home at risk in order to protect others.

Ironically, Cusick said the hero and his fellow firefighters also saved her Basalt office from a flood in 2006.

(credit: CBS)

“It’s kind of ironic. I dodged two bullets… They saved my office from a fire, and they saved my office from a flood. And then they saved my home,” Cusick told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia via Skype.

Williams and his loved ones are among four families in three homes that burned down to piles of debris.

(credit: CBS)

“We didn’t really take anything, so we pretty much lost everything,” Williams said.

In three days, the online fundraiser for Williams had already raised more than $57,000.

(credit: CBS)

“I’m so floored by it,” said Cusick.

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Williams said the money will go towards rebuilding his home, but he will first focus on a bigger task.

“I just want to get back (to Basalt)… I want to get the fire out first… and help as much as I can,” Williams said.

(credit: CBS)

Links to fundraisers for all four families whose homes have been burned in the Lake Christine Fire:

Wildfire Resources

– Visit’s Colorado Wildfire section.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

– See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile), the deadliest (Storm King) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

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Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to