(CBS4) — A charitable foundation has paid off the mortgages of two Colorado families following the line-of-duty deaths of Ken Jones, a Summit County firefighter, and Fort Carson-based Army Sgt. First Class Stephen Cribben.
Jones died a year ago when he fell from the roof of a five-story condominium at Copper Mountain during a fire incident.READ MORE: New COVID-19 Spikes In Parts Of Colorado With Lower Vaccination Rates? Many Doctors Worried It Could Happen
The Stephen Stiller Tunnels To Towers Foundation, named after a City of New York firefighter who perished in the 9/11 attacks, announced four days after Jones’s passing that the organization would assume mortgage payments for Jones’s widow, Keri, and their two children.
Jones, 46, was a 20-year veteran with the Summit County Fire Department. His is the department’s first line-of-duty death.
“To say the least, we are devastated,” Travis Davis, Deputy Chief of Operations with the Summit Fire and EMS, said shortly after the accident last year. “This is new territory for us.”
Monday, the foundation pronounced the loan had been paid off.
“I am overjoyed and it is still, honestly, unbelievable,” said Keri. “I am grateful for all the generous and good people in the world.”READ MORE: 2 Seriously Hurt In Rural Weld County Crash That Involved 5 Vehicles
Sgt. Cribben was killed on Nov. 4, 2017, after coming under hostile fire in Afghanistan during Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. He was a green beret with the 10th Special Forces Group from Fort Carson. He was nine weeks into his fourth tour at the time, having already deployed with the 716th MP Battalion in Egypt (2005), Afghanistan (2006), and Iraq (2007).
The 33-year-old left behind his wife Shelly and two children, Connor and Wyatt.
When told that her mortgage was paid in full, Shelly Cribben promised to pay the kindness forward.
“This gift will be passed on as we see others in need, and we are able to make a difference in their lives as well,” she said. “We will honor this gift and treat it well.”
The Tunnels To Towers Foundation aims to provide 250 homes to catastrophically injured veterans, Gold Star families, and fallen first responder families across the country by the end of the year.MORE NEWS: Auto Repair Students Help Denver Police Tackle Growing Catalytic Converter Theft Problem
“While nothing will replace the loss of a husband and father, we hope lifting this financial burden will help make the holiday’s a little brighter,” said Frank Siller, Chairman, and CEO of the foundation.