Darrell Fortner and his wife Jennifer are among the many residents who are left without a home, after the Black Forest wildfire that began last Tuesday and has only partially been contained, destroyed nearly 485 homes in the area.
The couple who were returning from Denver when they heard news of the fire, were too late to save their home and their tree-cutting business, but managed to save five horses from the property.
"We've lost everything, the house burned to the ground," Fortner told FOX21 News, adding that, “I dug a big sand pit on the property and cut down a lot of trees around the house on both sides."
The pit was approximately 20 feet deep and 20 feet wide and his horses ran into the hole when the fire broke out. "They got swinged [sic] a little, but they're OK,” Fortner said. “They're out at the clinic right now in good hands being taken care of."
Fortner, 69, told FOX21, that he will have to start from scratch now that he has lost his home and business, which he started 41 years ago. All the equipment used in his tree-cutting service was lost in the Black Forest fire, which was contained 65 percent Sunday.
The Fortners are currently put up in a motel and their insurance is not expected to cover much. But they are open to help others who are in a similar situation.
"I just want to thank the authorities and anybody out here that does not have any insurance and needs our help, we're here to help them," Fortner said.