BOULDER, Colo. — When three people heard the Calwood Fire had sparked on Saturday, they rushed to help their friends evacuate and drove through flames to get them to safety.
Luca Churchill, his girlfriend, Holland, and his twin brother, Shiloh, put their lives on the line to help friends evacuate from their home on Mountain Ridge Drive.
"As soon as we got up there, everything was like orange and it was raining ashes hard and we could barely see," said Luca Churchill, 16.
Churchill even brought hoses to set up on home’s roof.
"I told Holland to go run inside and help and I ran straight to the roof. I didn’t even go inside, I didn’t say hi to anyone, I ran straight to the roof, threw the hoses down, hooked them up to the spigots so we had water on the roof to help it try not to catch fire," said Churchill.
Time wasn’t on their side. If they were going to make it out alive, they had to leave right then. In total, they only had 20 minutes to evacuate.
"None of us thought we were actually going to make it out of there," said Churchill.
Churchill was the last one out and his friends were driving ahead.
"I honestly thought the windows might break because it felt like it was almost melting the truck," said Churchill. "I thought my tires melted."
The trailer behind his truck even caught fire on the way down the mountain.
His friend’s home was lost to the Calwood fire, but Churchill knows his actions saved their lives.
"You don’t want to lose your home, but you can’t rebuild your life if you die," he said. "But you can rebuild your home."
The fire was 9,915 acres and 21% contained as of Wednesday morning, with fire officials expecting red flag conditions Wednesday afternoon into Thursday ahead of likely snow this weekend. The fire had destroyed 26 structures as of Wednesday morning.