|Preston and Amanda Randall lose home in High Park Fire|
|Written by Darci Tomky|
Preston and Amanda (Bennett) Randall lost their home to the High Park Fire Sunday night, June 10.
Amanda is the daughter of Mike and Susan Bennett of Holyoke and is a 2005 HHS grad. She and her husband Preston, who were only married Aug. 11 last year, lived in a home in Rist Canyon high on a ridge above Bellevue. Preston had bought the home and some acreage about four years ago.
The northern Colorado wildfire, which is believed to have been started from a lightning strike, was first seen around 6 a.m. Saturday morning. The Randalls were keeping an eye on the fire all day Saturday, when the fire department came to their house around 7 p.m. to tell them it was time to evacuate.
Amanda’s mom Susan said the two gathered up a few things like pictures and clothes and took two vehicles down the canyon. Of course, it was hard for them to know what to take and what to leave behind. Preston’s brother went back with him to get a couple more vehicles, as well.
Preston and Amanda went to Bellvue to stay at the house of Preston’s parents, Owen and Chanda Randall, who happened to be out of town. Unfortunately, they got another call at 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning to evacuate from that house, which is located north of Horsetooth. As of Tuesday morning, Susan said this house had not yet burned, although a couple houses nearby had been lost.
To top it off, Susan said Preston’s brother and his wife, Tanner and Nikki Randall, had to evacuate from their home southwest of Horsetooth Sunday afternoon.
Since Preston and Amanda’s house was on a ridge, they could watch it easily to see if it had burned. They said it was still there Sunday night, but when they got up Monday morning, they could see the house was gone.
According to 9news.com, over 100 houses have burned in the fire. As of Monday, 2,600 evacuations were ordered in the fire area, and many people didn’t know if their houses were still standing.
The High Park Fire had burned 43,433 acres in northern Colorado with zero percent containment, according to a 9news.com article early Tuesday morning. They said Larimer County reported 500-600 personnel were fighting the blaze.
Tuesday morning, The Denver Post said so far this is the third-largest fire in Colorado history.
Most of the structures destroyed were in the areas of Rist Canyon, Stove Prairie to Old Flowers Road, Paradise Park and Poudre Canyon and Park.
For the Randalls and Bennetts, the whole experience has been very surreal. Preston and Amanda are staying with some family friends north of the fire, and as of Tuesday, they had not yet been able to go back to see what was left of their house. The young couple was still arranging pictures on the walls, enjoying their wedding presents and purchasing new furniture. Susan said they don’t yet know what their plans will be for the future.
The families would like everyone to know they greatly appreciate all the prayers and concern during this time.
Holyoke Enterprise June 14, 2012