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Woman killed in Colorado Springs mobile home park fire

A woman and her dog died after flames engulfed their mobile home in a wind-fueled blaze that destroyed eight units at two mobile home parks, officials said Friday.

The woman’s death was confirmed by El Paso County Coroner Dr. Leon Kelly. He said she had been tentatively identified but declined to provide a name or other details until the identity was confirmed.

Steve Kaye, a resident who fled the fire, said he heard a woman shout “Help me!” Help me!” and quickly ran outside to see his door engulfed in flames on Thursday afternoon. He said he tried to help him escape, but the fire spread too quickly and soon his entire house was engulfed in fire, he said.Authorities have not confirmed that the woman he saw trapped was the deceased.

The fire destroyed homes in Skylark Mobile Home Park and nearby Falcon Mobile Home Park, both on Cascade Avenue. It is not known in which park the deceased woman lived. Authorities previously said the eight homes were at the Skylark.

Several pets were killed in the blaze, including a dog belonging to the deceased woman, firefighters confirmed.

The cause of the blaze – one of three across the city on Thursday that highlighted a high fire risk in the area – was ruled accidental after investigators were unable to rule out that its ignition was caused by improper disposal of “smoking material,” the fire department said Friday.

The separate fires briefly prompted a shelter-in-place order and canceled flights at the Colorado Springs airport and forced the evacuation of hundreds of people from their homes. At the mobile home parks, high winds and exploding propane tanks spread flames to nearby units, a fire department spokesperson said.

Firefighters dug up the piles of rubble Friday morning as an excavator demolished the frame of a mobile home. The metal siding has detached from the mobile home next door, revealing its charred interior.

Several trees stood between the rubble, their bark peeled and scorched by the flames. The area remained cordoned off with yellow police tape.

Bailey McCreary, 21, said she heard what sounded like rain on her roof and crashing waves when she stepped outside on Thursday and felt the heat of the flames on her body and a thick smell of propane.

“They weren’t waves. It was giant, huge flames,” McCreary said.

She quickly jumped into her car and drove past a burning trailer.

“I rode as fast as possible. I didn’t want to stop in case something else exploded,” she said.

A day after the fire, she walked through the rubble-strewn park with tears in her eyes.

“We live in a trailer park, we’re poor,” she said, adding that many who live there don’t have insurance.

Debbie Wilson, 56, and her housemate returned to find their home badly damaged with their four dead cats inside. They hoped to recover the bodies of Gizmo, Penelope, Minnie and Praline and bring them to the vet to be cremated.

They planned to retrieve important documents and identification they might find in their home, which they moved into in August. Wilson’s roommate, who declined to be named, described their home as an “open-air charred mess”.

Wilson, who was waiting for her home nurse to arrive on Thursday, said police knocked on her door to get her out. She heard a succession of “small booms” mixed with explosions as flames burned a nearby house.

“It was the first time in a long time that I could say sirens were a welcome sound,” Wilson said.

The other fires in Colorado Springs have highlighted how human activity that can be harmless in more forgiving conditions can spark blazes that quickly spread out of control amid the state’s hot, dry and windy weather.

In the northeast of the city, the Akerman Fire, which endangered 500 homes and led to the evacuation of around 1,000 people in the Stetson Hills neighborhood on Thursday, was started by smoldering ash from a resident’s household, a Colorado Springs police spokeswoman said. Joshua Allen was cited with “shooting woods or meadows”, for unknowingly and recklessly setting fire to land. It’s a class 6 felony.

The Alturas Fire that briefly shut down the Colorado Springs airport was apparently started by a county sheriff’s deputy’s patrol car after the deputy drove into a field and accidentally set fire to it. grass, authorities said. Crews brought the blaze, which grew to 180 acres, under control around 4:30 p.m. Friday, according to the sheriff’s office.

Another fire that broke out west of Cripple Creek in Teller County on Thursday had grown to about 846 acres by Friday evening, the Teller County Sheriff’s Office said. The cause of the High Park fire, which started on private property before moving to Bureau of Land Management land, remains unknown.

Colorado Springs and much of the Front Range were red flagged Friday, with dry conditions and winds of up to 40 mph bringing critical fire danger to the northeast quarter of the state, the National warned. Boulder Weather Service on Twitter.


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