High Chateau Fire displaces residents, hundreds of homes evacuated

Posted at 11:58 PM, Jun 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-30 01:58:25-04

As of Friday night, the High Chateau Fire in Teller County has burned over 400 acres. 

No structures have been lost, but hundreds of homes have been evacuated and residents displaced.

Cripple Creek-Victor Junior/Senior High School opened up as a shelter for evacuees. 

On Friday night about 20 people slept at the shelter. The Red Cross says other evacuees are staying at hotels or with family and friends. 

Teller County resident Lisa Morris explains how earlier that day she saw "light smoke, gray smoke, black smoke, brown smoke" less than half a mile away from her home. 

Knowing how close the fire was it "scared me to death. Started the wheels turning about what we needed to take to get out of there safely."

She says the sheriff showed up soon after that telling her she needed to get out. 

"I grabbed some papers and technology, and some clothes for my grandchildren…I think the most difficult part of it is things that can’t be replaced…I think about my grandmother’s quilt that I just got and I didn’t bring it." 

Neighbors Dan and Ronnie Reisman were also evacuated. 

Ronnie Reisman said, ‘"The sheriff was right there and all he said was "go fast."’

The couple headed to the high school and are hopeful that their beloved summer cabin is spared from the flames.

"We built it ourselves. It’s very special." 

They’re not the only ones displaced by the fire. Over at the Cripple Creek Fairgrounds over a dozen evacuated animals are also adjusting to a temporary home.

Bobby Chevvaria said, "We’ve got dogs. We’ve had a few cats. We got geese, chickens, goats, and horses."

Chevvaria, an out-of-town visitor, stepping up to help without hesitation.

"If we can help that’s all we can do from this point is just help people get their animals safe and get them back safe."

The Red Cross has not said how long the shelter at the high school will be open. The only donations needed are animal crates for cats and dogs.

News 5 will continue to keep you updated on this developing story.