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Three people missing, hundreds of homes destroyed in Colorado fire | Stories

An official said the three missing people were all living in houses burnt down by the city’s typhoon.

Three people are missing and are feared dead in a blaze that has engulfed two towns in Colorado state in the United States, resulting in thousands of people being evacuated and destroying nearly 1,000 homes.

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said Saturday that three missing people, who declined to be identified, were all living in houses that had been gutted by the blaze.

“The houses where the people will live have been destroyed,” Pelle told a news conference.

Authorities initially said there were no reports of deaths or missing people after a missing urban fire broke out Thursday morning north of downtown Denver.

Winds of more than 100 miles per hour (160 kph) pushed the east flames to the cities of Superior and Louisville, forcing both areas to evacuate.

In about two hours, the fire burned 6,000 acres, officials said.

Pelle said cadaver teams would be sent Sunday to search for those missing. But the task is far more daunting because of debris from damaged homes covered with 8-inch (20 cm) snowstorms that were blown away by the storm overnight.

A firefighter with a Timberline Fire Protection District pumps water from a still-covered snow-covered house from Marshall Fire in Rock Creek near Superior town in Boulder County, Colorado on January 1, 2022. [Jason Connolly / AFP]

At least seven people have been injured in the blaze.

Pelle also reported that 991 homes in Superior, Louisville and surrounding areas had been destroyed, making it the deadliest fire in state history in terms of lost homes.

Authorities initially suggested that a fire from a low-lying area dropped by a hurricane might have triggered the blaze, but an Xcel Energy company investigation found no damaged or low lines near the site of the blaze.

Pelle said investigators were investigating all possible steps to determine the cause of the fire.

Based on the information, the sheriff said a search warrant was issued in connection with the investigation, but declined to provide further details.

U.S. President Joe Biden has declared the incident a global catastrophe, and released government funds to help business people to help restore, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said.

In Boulder County on Saturday, snow and heat in some parts of the country are causing serious damage to smoldering rubble. The smell of smoke continued to spread on the empty streets as workers struggled to restore electricity and gas to the surviving homes.

Many people lined up to receive heat, bottled water and blankets at the Red Cross depot.

“It hurts because we have our own house, but our friends don’t. And our neighbors don’t, ”said Judy Givens, a Louisville resident, as she and her husband carried a fire extinguisher. “We thought 2022 might be better. Then we had an omicron. And now we have this, and it doesn’t start well.”

Houses are being set on fire as a wildfire is being set ablaze on the property near Rock Creek Village, Thursday, December 30, 2021, near Broomfield, Colorado. [David Zalubowski/ AP]

Meanwhile, others walked through the snow to find out what their homes were like and to seize their belongings.

Viliam Klein bowed in grief as he saw the ruins of his 100-year-old house in Superior for the first time on Saturday. Smoke rose from the snow-covered ash; a few neighbors passed by, carrying what they could from their damaged homes.

“Right now I’m just frustrated and I don’t feel much anymore,” Klein said.

The wildfires began in earnest at the end of the year, after a period of intense autumn and winter with almost no snow until snow fell. The storm pushed the flames to feed on dry grass and bone marrow in fields and open areas mixed with rural areas.

Scientists say that climate change is making the weather extremely dangerous and wildfires can be both dangerous and destructive.

Ninety percent of Boulder County is in severe drought, and has not seen much rain since mid-summer. Denver recorded a series of days without snow before a hurricane on December 10, his last snowfall before a wildfire broke out.

“It hasn’t been snowed all winter in 2021. It’s not surprising that it all went up like a fire,” Klein said.

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