BLACK FOREST, Colo. - Eric Scott says it was unnerving to see flames four stories high racing toward his home as he scrambled to evacuate his children, younger sister and a few treasured belongings.
The Black Forest father was working in Douglas County when he learned that a fire had broken out in his neighborhood.
He says he scrambled home to get his family.
“I said the first thing we’re going to do is remain calm,” he said. “And that’s what we did.”
Scott said he gave instructions to each child and they followed them.
"We didn't have a lot of time, the fire was absolutely roaring through the area," he said.
Scott said he was standing about 50 feet from the flames when his neighbor's yard caught fire.
"The fire was huge, unbelievably powerful," Scott said.
"We snuck out of there at the last second, there were embers flying across the car," Scott said.
When asked if he lost his home to the fire, Scott replied, “I think so. I don’t know if I’ve come to grips with that yet. I just know there’s possibly just a pile of (concrete) there. We probably won’t know for a couple more days.”
The father became emotional while talking about the items the family selected to remove.
“It was hard to decide what to take and what not to take,” he said. “I left the pinewood derby cars from when I was a kid. But I grabbed my son’s because those were more important to me than my old stuff.”
Scott says he grabbed his grandfather’s old clock, and his mom and dad’s family photograph, a very important item since one of his sisters pictured in that photograph has since died from cancer.
Additionally, he said, they tried to save important papers, heirlooms and other items that can’t be replaced.
“The last few years have been tough,” Scott told 7NEWS. “My mom suffered a stroke and my father was injured in a rollover accident."
He said the possible loss of his home just adds to the challenge.
Still, he feels lucky.
“I got my family out safely,” he said.
When asked about El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa’s comments that there may be loss of life in this fire, Scott said, “I’m sure there’s going to be tragedy. There are a lot of nooks and crannies in the Black Forest area. There are people who are aged and may not have the capability of getting out.”
Scott says his children are taking the possible loss of their home in stride.
“They’re excited that they have something to talk to classmates about when they go back to school,” he chuckled.
He said his kids are in that frame of mind because they all remained calm and didn’t panic, and because he told them he was going to keep them safe.
Scott said he doesn’t know what the future holds. He said the first thing he wants to do is get back into the burn zone to see if there’s anything left on his property.
“You just take one step,” he said, “and then another, and then another.”