By Jack Lowenstein

MONTE VISTA, Colo. (CBS4) — Community members told CBS4’s Spencer Wilson Thursday the day after fire swept through Monte Vista was harder because they were finally able to see the destruction that it left behind. It was a lifetime of memories left in rubble for some.

(credit: CBS)

Homes that were damaged in the fire might have been standing, but firefighters told some residents they could not go back, between the smoke and water damage.

“He keeps coming because I think he thinks it is going to change if he comes every time, and it hasn’t,” said Yvonne Galindo, whose family home was destroyed in the fire. “That is what breaks our heart. We have been here three times. Still the same, and that is hard.”

“We are hurt. We want to know what happened. We know it is going to be a while before we know anything,” said Jessica Ornelas, whose uncle’s home was destroyed in the fire. “No answers, just black piles of what used to be a home, and it’s not the only one.”

“Once that fire took off, it was just … house-to-house,” explained Roger Christensen, who watched the start of the fire in Monte Vista.

Now, its about how to survive with whatever is left.

Galindo’s family pulled $400 together Wednesday night for a neighbor, even though they still needed help, too.

“If you can help someone in need, please do it; please do it,” Galindo said. “It was us today. It could be you tomorrow. If you can help someone, any little thing you can help someone. Do it. Just do it.”

Anyone interested in helping out these people who lost everything, the community is putting together a community fund and collecting food and clothing donations.

The fire displaced at least six families in the Colorado community located between Alamosa and South Fork. The cause of the fire remained under investigation Thursday.


Jack Lowenstein