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Emotions are hot, full range during evacuations

Phil Sandoval

Emotions ranged from concerned calm to tears as West Glenwood residents entered the Glenwood Springs High School parking lot as part of the first wave of relocations due to the Cole Seam fire.

Norm Schrull, a Gregory Park resident, was going into town to get a pizza when he heard of the evacuation.

“We weren’t gone 20 minutes. I had heard from one of the kids at the pizza place that Gregory Park was on fire. My house borders Gregory Park, so we got back in the car and headed back.”

Schrull said when he tried to return back on Interstate 70 that traffic had already been diverted.

“They wouldn’t let us go past through the mall. They were stopping everybody and they had everybody hauling as fast as they could to get out of there.

“The police were yelling, `Get out of your houses now. Get out of your houses now,'” added Schrull’s next door neighbor, Susan Rickel. “So we just left. That’s all we could do.

“All we heard was the fire jumped the highway, and get out. That’s all the time we had.”

Andy Liberton was working at the recently built Community Center when he got the word to evacuate.

Liberton lives with his family in a home by the Glenwood Springs Middle School and he said that, “My mom was in tears when I talked with her on the phone.”

“I was working at the roller rink, and I tried to get back home to help my mom and couldn’t get home. They wouldn’t let me in.”

The fire also prevented firefighter Jack Nelt from helping contain the fire.

He was in the middle of moving from Glenwood to New Castle, but was stopped from heading back to New Castle to get his firefighting gear.

Smoke from the fire was visible in Carbondale. That prompted Michelle Hammond to come to the evaluation center.

“We saw the smoke and we just knew we had to help fellow valley neighbors and friends – that’s why we’re here.”

“It’s not pretty here in Glenwood, and we’re here to help anyone who needs help.”


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