GRAND LAKE, Colo. (CBS4) – Family members believe two grandparents died in the destructive East Troublesome Fire in Colorado. Grandchildren are posting about the family on Twitter.

Lyle and Marilyn Hileman lived in a home north of the beloved mountain town of Grand Lake, near the Meadowview Mountain Lodge. The story of the couple, who went into a bunker beneath their home when the fire approached Grand Lake, caught the attention of many on social media. Three other people, not related to the Hilemans, are also currently unaccounted for.

Grand Lake resident Matthew Reed, who lost his home to the fire Wednesday when it grew by 100,000 acres, said he knew the couple well. They lived not far from him in Grand Lake.

“They lived right next to Rocky Mountain National Park on Grand County Road 491 and they had a bomb shelter, per se, in their basement and they couldn’t get out,” he said.

He told CBS4 early Thursday that he learned of their deaths Wednesday night when he rushed back to Grand Lake to help firefighters with efforts in his neighborhood.

“I know for sure …” he said, bowing his head, “last night we were out helping fuel some of the fire some of the engines in Grand Lake because they were running out of gas and diesel and the fire chief confirmed, that he got there with the help of the Public Works Director with one of the loaders … and it’s gone. The basement is gone.”

He said he used to go hunting near the couple’s home, and went to church with them.

“They were awesome, awesome people. The guy was even a Denver fireman for a majority of his career,” he said.

Grandchildren say the couple lived in a large home north of the city.

They have the original plans of the home, and plan to rebuild.

Jamie Leary

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