NewsMarshall Fire


Louisville home survives, family now concerned about possible soil contamination

The home is surrounded by burned properties
louisville marshall fire soil contamination.jpg
Posted at 7:30 AM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 09:30:30-04

LOUISVILLE, Colo. — It could still be a while before victims of the Marshall Fire uncover all the problems stemming from the damage and aftermath.

Clean-up for most families is just getting started, and some homeowners are facing new challenges.

Christine Burg said the fire got extremely close to her Louisville home, but it survived.

"It was just shocking to see the loss of our neighbors and the devastation of the fire. The night of the fire, we were certain our house would not be standing as the fire was in our backyard," Burg said.

Her home is now surrounded by four burned properties. While it was not destroyed, there may be issues with the ground it's standing on.

"Our concerns are that the there's a spillover effect from the fire or that the ash footprint doesn't necessarily stop right at the property line and that our soil potentially has those toxins as well," Burg said. "Our neighbors and I have pets and children."

She has reached out to the county, but was told she doesn't qualify for soil removal through the Federal Emergency Management Agency because she didn't suffer a total loss.

"Our hearts go out to all of our community members, our members who face these losses, and we're so thankful that the city and county has stepped up to assist them and to assist us in all the ways that they have. That being said, there's a lot of gray area with safely returning to your home," Burg said.

Burg has sent soil samples to a private company. They’re testing for eight different metals, and the results should be back in a couple of weeks.

If toxins are found, she’ll have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket to get the soil scraped.

She is hoping Boulder County will start offering some help to those in her situation.

"We're just learning as we go along and trying to do this as safely as we can," she said.

There’s still a lot of remediation that has to be done inside and outside of Burg's home, but she remains hopeful her family can return by August.

Denver7 has reached out to Boulder County officials to see if they would consider offering some type of aid to these families, but so far we have not received a response.