ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford native Danny Pace lost everything when his home in Louisville, Colorado was destroyed in a wildfire.
“Everything is just ashes,” he said. “It was just… everything is gone. Still burning, even.”
The wildfire, which began last Thursday, has destroyed nearly 1,000 homes. Firefighters worked to extinguish it as winds reaching 60 mph swept down from the Rocky Mountains into the suburban areas affected by the fire, between Denver and Boulder.
Two people were still missing as of Wednesday, and crews sifted the locations where they lived by hand to search for any remains.
Some 35,000 residents have been forced from their homes.
Pace wasn’t home when the fires hit. He was out of town and returned to find his three level home had been reduced to charred timbers.
“When I first found out about it, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I had no clue. Almost everything was in the house,” he said.
“I had a note that I was, actually, just looking at a few weeks ago, that my daughter wrote to me when she was probably about 8 or 9 years old. Stuff like that can’t be replaced,” he recalled.
Now, family and friends from Rockford, where Pace was born and raised, are stepping in to help him recover.
“With everybody’s help and support, it’s definitely going to be easier. It definitely makes this whole situation a lot easier,” he said.
Pace’s cousin, Callie Sullivan, has started a GoFundMe to raise money to help him recover.