LOUISVILLE, Colo. (CBS4) – When strong winds pushed the Marshall Fire into residential areas in Louisville on Dec. 30, firefighters faced a very dangerous situation as they worked to save homes. One symbol of their desperate efforts that day now sits outside Fire Station 2 on Via Appia Way. It’s a pile of damaged firefighting hoses.
The Louisville Fire District shared a photo on Facebook Friday morning of the hoses and wrote “Every piece of hose shown here represents when a crew had to abandon their post because the fire was going to burn over them. A testament to how hard crews fought till the last minute.”
The wildfire destroyed more than 1,000 houses in Louisville, Superior and other parts of Boulder County. Some firefighters who were on the front lines spoke with CBS4 earlier this week and said the smoke, dirt, debris and ash being blown through the air made it difficult for them to see and breathe as they tried to do their jobs.
Louisville Fire Battalion Chief Diane Schroeder was one of the first at the scene and said it was the over 100 mph winds that made this fire so extreme.
“It’s really a firefighter’s and incident commander’s worst nightmare because you cannot control the wind. So the thought was ‘This is terrible and please let the wind stop,'” she said.
“It was fast, it was moving fast through the structure,” said North Metro firefighter Jeremy Leadem. “It started on the exterior of the house, quickly moved interior, it was shooting out the attic in almost no time, and no matter how much water we were putting on it, we were having very little effect.”