Oct 4, 2012 6:54 PM by Andy Koen

Fast burning house fire claims one life, injures three more

It took only moments to change the lives of a Widefield family for ever. Just before 1:15 a.m. Thursday, a fire was sparked inside a tri-level home in the 400 block of Cielo Vista Street and the flames raced quickly raced through the structure.

Kimberly Salo lives across the street and woke up to sound of her dogs barking.

"The guy who lives there, James, he pounded on the door. It scared me to death."

Her parents were also awake and as her dad called 911, Kimberly looked outside and saw the home engulfed in flames.

"I was sick. I was devastated. I couldn't think of anyone being in there. That was before anyone had come out except for James. So, I thought everyone was still in there."

Most of the family had escaped, but the flames were too intense for firefighters to rescue their grandmother. A 15-year-old girl and her aunt both had burns, and a six year old boy was hospitalized for smoke inhalation.

By midday the embers had cooled enough to let fire investigators inside. They spent the day looking for evidence to suggest precisely where and how the fire started.

At Kimberly's house, the family's dogs had found a temporary shelter. Her mom Debbie Mussack says they helped any way they could.

"We brought them into the house and gave them some more clothing, because she was just in a tee shirt, a nightshirt and everything, some clothing and some warm socks because her socks were all wet," she said.

Debbie had recently taken a course in Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) to better prepare herself for crisis situations.

"It really came in handy just being support for the firefighters and the sheriff department and stuff just telling them if you guys need anything let us know," Debbie said.

The Pikes Peak Chapter of the American Red Cross provided the family with grief and trauma counseling as well as emergency food and replacement clothing. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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