WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – Many people from Estes Park fleeing the East Troublesome Fire are staying in the Denver metro area Friday night. Thanks to the American Red Cross, Estes Park families who check in at the Westminster Rec Center can get a free place to stay at one of about a dozen participating hotels in Westminster.
Oliver Acedo, 10, and his family, are receiving that help after they left evacuated from their Estes Park-area home around 2 p.m. Thursday.
“It was shocking, it was scary, because you know, you have to evacuate, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Acedo said. “You don’t know what’s going to happen to your homes or anything.”
Throughout the day Friday, Red Cross volunteers were helping many evacuees like Acedo with a place to stay.
“I just love the sense of community around here. Everybody is really pitching in and helping where they can, and for me personally, it makes me feel so good to give back to the community and help everybody that’s been impacted by these fires,” said volunteer Kristen Gautney.
Gautney said the Red Cross is also offering medical care and clothing for evacuees.
“If somebody has to evacuate quickly, and they forgot medication, we would put them in touch with our medical services team and they would help them with whatever medical needs they have,” Gautney said. “I think the medical services specialist is a very important aspect when people are leaving very quickly from their homes, you don’t always think about bringing your medication.”
In normal times, the Westminster City Park Recreational Center would be a shelter for evacuees, Gautney said, with cots and food. But in the era of COVID-19, the Red Cross is paying for families to stay in about a dozen participating Westminster hotels.
That’s something Acedo and his brother, Brelyo, 14, are grateful for.
“When I knew there’s people looking out for all of us, it felt really nice,” Brelyo Acedo said.
All four of the open Red Cross evacuation checkpoint locations for Estes Park fire evacuees are:
• Embassy Suites: 4705 Clydesdale Parkway, Loveland, CO 80538
• Isle of Capri: 401 Main Street, Black Hawk, CO 80422
• Silverthorne Recreation Center: 430 Rainbow Drive, Silverthorne, CO 80498
• Westminster City Park Recreation Center: 10455 Sheridan Boulevard, Westminster, CO 80020