BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– The Marshall Fire was the most destructive in Colorado history, and now firefighters with Adams County Fire Rescue are describing what their experience was like on the front lines.

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“It was just the most surreal, and humbling experience I’ve ever dealt with and probably ever will,” said Tyler Ottersberg, with station 11. “It was like Armageddon. There were cars that were abandoned in the middle of the road, just completely burned over, and you’re just doing your best.”

Accelerated by high wings, the fire blew through Boulder county leaving hundreds of homes destroyed in its wake in just hours. Ottersberg witnessed a lot of it unfold. He said the fire was moving quickly, jumping from home to home.

“You’re seeing foundations and that’s it,” Ottersberg said. “There are no more houses left.”

The department recently published a podcast, in which firefighters describe their experiences on that day. Firefighter Brian Melzer is featured in it. At the time of the fire, Melzer had only been on the job for about a month.

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“I just couldn’t wrap my head around all of the destruction,” Melzer said.

Melzer was called out on the engine with Ottersberg and a few others. While the crew was initially called out to help cover 911 calls, hours later they were defending homes from the raging flames. The crew was able to save at least six.

“I was feeling a little down, that many homes were lost, and we couldn’t do anything for those homes,” said Melzer.

Through all the destruction, these Adams County firefighters said this blaze has put into perspective the things that really matter.

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“It goes to show what’s truly important: That’s our health, that’s our family,” Ottersberg said. “We gotta all come together, work together to rebuild, of course.”

LINK: Adams County Fire Rescue Podcast

Marissa Armas