Colorado family documents escape from raging wildfire
POSTED: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 8:53am
UPDATED: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 12:29pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — As fire engulfed their Colorado neighborhood, one family captured their dramatic escape on video.
As danger burned closer to their home, Kim Olson had a hard time getting answers.
"When I was first smelling smoke, I called. And I called and I called again. 911 and emergency dispatch said there was nothing," Olson said.
Olson and her husband, Doug Gulick, knew something was wrong.
"We told the kids to get a bag together and we started getting ourselves ready," Olson said.
By the time the emergency call came, they found themselves driving through a tunnel of flames.
Their oldest son Kaleb Gulick, 13, took the video as they drove out of the inferno.
His voice could he heard calming his younger sister, 9 year old Rhoanabella telling her, "You're gonna be fine."
Little brother Quillan, 4, was also in the car.
"I didn't know if I was going to live and I was just thinking about all the possibilities. How things could have gone wrong. I just knew chaos wouldn't really solve anything so I was just trying to stay calm," Kaleb said.
Though the half mile drive felt like forever, the family was safe in a matter of seconds.
"It's been an emotional rollercoaster. We've gotten out with our lives and some people have not," Gulick said.
Their neighbors, Sam and Linda Lucas, died in the fire and their home was reduced to ashes.
"By the time we had a 911 call, it wouldn't surprise me if their house was already on fire," Gulick said.
Olson says they and the others should have been warned much sooner, before the fire was so close to their neighborhood.
"Those people were planning on leaving. It was a matter of not having enough time. I don't feel that they took it seriously. It was right downhill from us. There's no way they shouldn't have evacuated us. They need to figure it out. This can't happen again," Olson said.
The family is still waiting to find out if their house survived the fire.
Aerial video taken Tuesday morning showed their roofline intact, but they won't know the condition of their home until they can go back sometime in the next week