‘Things could have been worse’ | PostIndependent.com

‘Things could have been worse’

Pete FowlerPost IndependentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Ramón Ventura’s home was destroyed, and now even the few things that can be salvaged smell like smoke. But he’s still a happy guy.”I’m a very optimistic person,” he said. “Things could have been worse. … Everything is material. Thank God we’re alive.”Things could have been a lot worse, he explained, because the windows in the rooms downstairs are too small to fit through had his kids been trapped down there by the fire. As a carpenter for Structural Associates, he doesn’t recommend such small windows.Ventura, who says the name’s like Ace Ventura’s, awoke to a woman in the next unit screaming that the place was on fire.”We were asleep,” Ventura said. “I heard Samantha screaming. I just looked through the window and said, ‘This is serious. Let’s get out of here.'”In the chaos that followed while getting everyone out of the duplex, his wife, Claudia, went back inside the duplex to get some keys and money. Ramón was trying to make sure she was outside when part of the soffit exploded, firing insulation out into the yard and knocking him to the ground.The fire that destroyed the duplex on Blake Avenue has left three groups of people looking for new places to live: The Ventura family of five, Dustin and Samantha Weller, and three of the Weller’s friends who lived with them as roommates.But finding a place around here is tough especially if you have dogs.Red Mountain Inn has allowed the Venturas to stay at a discounted rate until they find a new place. The three guys living with the Wellers are couch surfing around at friends and families’ places while trying to find an apartment. The Wellers, who married in September, are also looking for a place.Friday afternoon, Ramón could not say enough about the people and organizations that have already helped him and the other victims.”There are people out there who care,” he said. “It’s a beautiful thing.”He had good things to say about pretty much everyone who crossed his mind.”I’m going to miss this place a lot,” he said. The Venturas have rented there for almost three years.Ramón said he and his family thank Catholic Charities, American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Red Mountain Inn and others.”I’ll be a volunteer for them,” he said. “Call me I’ll be there. I’ll be a firefighter or whatever I have to do.”Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611 pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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