It’s a glimmer of hope for evacuees of the Chateau Fire in Teller County: on Friday residents learned that they will soon be allowed back into their homes.
The Teller County Sheriff’s Office still has to lift the mandatory evacuation for the High Chateau and Highland Meadows subdivisions before anyone can return to their properties. In the meantime, folks are getting registered at a Disaster Assistance Center at Summit Elementary School in Divide and getting a pass. It will be their admission ticket to get into the subdivisions.
Fire evacuee Kenny Rankin said, "It is excellent. It is really excellent to find out you finally get to go back to your own home."
For evacuees of the Chateau Fire it’s been a week of waiting and wondering.
John O’Leary, another evacuee, said, "I’m anxious to get back as anyone could imagine."
As Rankin explains, this week "has been almost a nightmare…it’s hard to take when you want to go back to your home. You can see your home, but you can’t go back to it and then you see the smoke, and then you don’t know what happened to your home."
The hope for evacuees is that soon they will have the answers.
O’Leary said, "I’m looking forward to it."
Rankin said, "I think we’ll be all right, but you never know when you walk in the door. We know the refrigerator’s not going to be friendly."
While challenges are still ahead, spirits are high knowing the nightmare is almost over.
Sheryl Decker, county administrator for Teller County, said, "I kind of feel like it’s the beginning of the end of this disaster and hopefully we can move on and get them back to as close to whole as we can."
The Disaster Assistance Center will be open on Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will also be open on Tuesday starting at 10 a.m. and will remain open for as long as residents need it. When coming to the center make sure you have a government issued ID and the license plate numbers of any cars you’ll be driving in and out of the subdivisions.