What once was three or four homes is gone due to the Marshal fire, Dec 30, 2021. Hurricane-force winds made it impossible for firefighters to enter certain neighborhoods to put out the fire. (Collegian | Sophia Stern)
What once was three or four homes is gone due to the Marshal fire, Dec 30, 2021. Hurricane-force winds made it impossible for firefighters to enter certain neighborhoods to put out the fire.

Collegian | Sophia Stern

Rising from the ashes: A community moves forward

Months after the destruction of the Marshall fire families are recovering from the ruins.

March 23, 2022

Christmas lights are strung up on a tree trunk, untouched, with fallen melted Christmas decorations among the houses rubble.
Christmas lights are strung up on a tree trunk, untouched, with fallen melted Christmas decorations among the houses rubble, Dec 30, 2021. Only five days after Christmas, one of Colorado’s most destructive fires displaced over 35,000 people, leaving many to wonder if they were going to have a house to come back to. (Collegian | Sophia Stern)

It has been three months since Dec. 30, 2021, when the Marshall Fire scorched the towns of Louisville, Superior and parts of unincorporated

Boulder County, Colorado. The fire destroyed over 1,000 homes and damaged around 150 homes. It ravaged through the towns, scorching over 6,000 acres, as hurricane-force winds fueled the flames throughout the day. Neighborhoods were reduced to ash in less than an hour, leaving nothing but the foundations of homes. The Marshall fire became Colorado’s most destructive fire, causing about $500 million worth of damage.

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Sifting through memories

Collegian | Sophia Stern

Brothers Tobin and Brodik Howe look at the foundation of their home Feb. 13. The Howe family was one of many families who lost their homes in the Marshall Fire.

Sifting through memories

The Howe’s were one of many families whose homes were destroyed in the Marshall Fire. Shaun, Keaton and their two sons, Tobin and

Brodik, drove up to Winter Park for a day of skiing on Dec. 30, 2021. Shaun’s family, like many others, never received a reverse 911 call. When the family heard of the fire, they returned to Louisville to retrieve some of their valuables from their home but were too late and evacuated to a hotel in Longmont, Colorado. It wasn’t until around 12:30 a.m. that Shaun’s friend texted her, informing her their house had most likely burned down. The Howe family drove into their neighborhood the next morning around 6 a.m. to see what used to be their home and their neighborhood for themselves.

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Brodik holds what used to be a shelf in his room.
Brodik holds what used to be a shelf in his room, Feb 13 2022. The family was up in Winter Park for the day when the fire started. (Collegian | Sophia Stern)
Let Your Light Shine benefit concert provides relief

Collegian | Sophia Stern

Mark Gabert, CW, and Jodie Woodward play their guitars together, Feb 20 2022. Twenty Hands High was one of five bands to play at the concert.

Let Your Light Shine benefit concert provides relief

On Feb. 20, singer Hazel Miller and nonprofit Let Your Light Shine hosted a benefit concert at Arvada Elks Lodge in support of the Marshall Fire Victims. The concert featured Hazel Miller & the Collective, Twenty Hands High, Dive Bar Diva and Soda Blue. The benefit also included food trucks and a silent auction with donations from many sponsors, including art, entertainment and experience packages. With the help of Let Your Light Shine, 100% of the proceeds went to victims of the fire. At the end of the night, with donations, auction proceeds, sponsorships and ticket sales, the event raised roughly $24,000 that will go directly to those whose lives were uprooted by the Marshall Fire.

The band Twenty Hands High performs, while guests dance along to the music.
The band Twenty Hands High performs while guests dance along to the music Feb. 20, 2022. All proceeds from the concert went to those affected by the Marshall Fire to help underinsured people. (Collegian | Sophia Stern)

Rising from the ashes

Gallery: Sophie’s coverage of the fire and it’s impact on the community.

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  • A burned car sits in what once was a neighborhood but is now rubble because of the Dec. 30, 2021, Marshall Fire, Jan. 3. Due to hurricane-force winds, the fire spread fast, destroying whole neighborhoods in less than 45 minutes.

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • A house remains standing and untouched by flames while the fence is damaged and burned, Jan. 3. Many people came back to find only the fence of their home burned, showing how close the flames got.

    Collegian | Sophia stern

  • Another destroyed car sits in the driveway of its former home, Dec 30, 2021.

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • A broken pot and solar-powered flower garden light sit among the rubble, Dec 30, 2021. Many garden statues are the only things that remain untouched by the flames. (Sophia Stern I The Collegian)

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • Colorful stone towers remain standing in the charred dirt and rubble, Dec 30, 2021. The Marshal fire damaged or destroyed between $819 million and $1.6 billion worth of homes alone. (Sophia Stern I The Collegian)

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • 920 is written in spray paint on a piece of a brick wall, Dec 30, 2021. The number of homes was spray-painted on the houses remains to identify each one. (Sophia Stern I The Collegian)

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • The deck of a home is destroyed and melted from the fire, Dec 30th, 2021. The fire damaged over 100 homes.

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • The brick wall of a house stands alone, charred from the fire, Dec 30, 2021. The fire started behind the Costco in Superior, CO.

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • Brothers Tobin and Brodik Howe look at the foundation of their home Feb. 13. The Howe family was one of many families who lost their homes in the Marshall Fire.

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • Tobin Howe walks through the rubble of his home Feb. 13. Howe is a current high schooler along with his brother.

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • Brodik Howe walks through the snow-covered rubble Feb. 13.

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • Tobin Howe holds what used to be a tire of one of his family’s cars Feb. 13. The family lost this car in the Marshall Fire.

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • Keaton Howe and his son Tobin Howe dig up a flat rock that was part of their backyard patio, Feb. 13. In order to preserve some rocks from their patio, they dug them up and piled them against the back fence so the excavation team wouldn’t take them.

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • Keaton Howe rolls a rock toward his back fence Feb. 13. The Howe family went back to their home to preserve some rocks to use in landscaping in the future.

    Collegian | Sophia Stern.

  • Shaun Howe looks at the foundation of her home, Feb 13 2022. Many people did not receive a reverse 911 call including the Howe family.

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • Brodik Howe looks at the place where his house once stood Feb. 13. The family drove back home once they heard of the fire but was unable to get into their neighborhood.

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • Brodik Howe points to the rubble of his home Feb. 13. All of Howe’s possessions, aside from what he had packed to go to Winter Park, burned in the fire.

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • Hazel Miller performs to those affected by the Marshall Fire, Feb. 20, 2022. Hazel Miller & The Collective closed the night out at the Let Your Light Shine benefit concert.

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • CW walks around the Elk Lodge as he plays a guitar solo, Feb 20, 2022. CW is the lead vocals in Twenty Hands High, a Denver based Country and southern rock band.

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • Couples dancing and enjoying the music, Feb 20, 2022. Let Your Light Shine held a benefit concert to help Marshal Fire victims.

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • Th lead singer of Dive Bar Diva, and Hazel Miller sing together on stage, Feb 20, 2022. The Benefit concert had many sponsors including local artists and companies like Longmont Dairy.

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • David Fermanich, a singer for Soda Blue performs the first song of the concert, Feb 20, 2022. The concert had five bands perform, along with a food truck, and an auction to help raise funds.

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • The band Twenty Hands High performs while guests dance along to the music Feb. 20, 2022. All proceeds from the concert went to those affected by the Marshall Fire to help underinsured people.

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

  • David Fermanich, a singer for Soda Blue, performs the first song of a concert Feb. 20. The concert had four bands performing, a food truck and an auction to help raise funds for those affected by the Marshall Fire.

    Collegian | Sophia Stern

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