RMCNews – Denver, Colorado … Sunrise brought to light the full extent of the damage throughout Superior and Louisville, Colorado after firefighters fought to contain the blaze in Boulder County. It also confirmed the fears of some families that their house was gone, while others tried to get information any way possible on their property.
As of December 31, Boulder Adventist Church and Twin Peaks Adventist Church have accounted for all their members. Unfortunately, a Boulder church family lost their home in the fire. Others discovered their house, against all odds, survived.
“Survival was literally a matter of minutes and inches. The winds were so fierce and the smoke so thick that one wrong turn could have been deadly. I don’t use the word often, but it will truly be miraculous if the final tally shows no fatalities,” commented Mark Johnson, Boulder Adventist Church member.
At a December 31 morning press conference, Governor Polis said Avista Adventist Hospital would be out of commission for days or weeks.
Avista Adventist Hospital CEO Isaac Sendros told ABC’s Good Morning America, “I’ve never experienced anything like this. Every neighborhood around us was in flames.”
Later in the afternoon, Sendros sent an email to hospital employees and partners explaining the situation. “There is ash and soot in many parts of the building. Our re-opening will require continued assessment and extensive collaboration with public authorities and utilities in the coming days and weeks to ensure safety for you and our patients.” He went on to explain that the fire came within four feet of the large oxygen tanks the hospital uses.
Boulder County Sheriff said at the press conference that the fire had grown to 6000 acres and estimated that around 1000 homes were either damaged or destroyed.
Emergency shelters remain open for families needing a place to stay. The Campion Academy gym also remains available; however, as of December 31, the shelter remained empty.
Pastors and ministry leaders from the community assembled at Flatirons Community Church in Lafayette on December 31 afternoon to encourage, pray, and discuss what their churches can do to help the community recover.
Area churches are partnering with Avista Adventist Hospital to collect goods to help employees who have been displaced by the fire.
Boulder County Sheriff at the press conference encouraged all wishing to volunteer to visit https://www.coloradoresponds.org/ to discover ways to help. If you wish to donate to Adventist Community Services disaster response, please use the AdventistGiving app and mark the online tithe envelope ACSDR.
–RMCNews; photos by Diane Johnson and Avista Adventist Hospital