Firefighter couple loses Nederland home in Cold Springs Fire, community steps in to help

One of their dogs died and another is missing
Posted at 11:03 PM, Jul 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-11 01:20:16-04

A pile of charred remains -- that's the only blueprint left at what once was the home of Bretlyn and Charlie Scmidtmann, both firefighters who have been battling the Cold Springs Fire since Day 1.

“I can’t imagine how hard it would be to all of a sudden... to lose all of that, that you’ve worked so hard for,” said Tessa Miller, who worked alongside Bretlyn as an EMS.

She, along another of Bretlyn’s friends, have started a GoFundMe account to raise money for the couple.

Miller said Charlie, a captain for the town's department, was one of the first responders and was there just before his house was destroyed by the flames he was working so tirelessly to put out.

He was able to rescue a few of the couple’s animals, including a miniature donkey and horse. However, Miller said one of their dogs didn’t make it and another, a St. Bernard, remains missing.

“They lost their home," she said, “went, checked out, saw what was going on, then they went back to work.”

Miller hopes she and the rest of the community will be able to help the family rebuild.

“They’ve given so much to this community,” she said, “I think more than ever... they need to know that the community needs to appreciate everything they’ve done for them.”

On Sunday night, Bretlyn provided the following update:

“Hey folks. I am super sorry we can't respond individually yet to all the love and support we're receiving. Words can't express how thankful we are. Please keep your hopes up for us to find Geno. Hug those you love. If you pray, pray that all the hardworking wildland firefighters fighting to put this one out stay safe. Thanks everybody.”


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