x
Breaking News
More () »

Cell phone video could help pinpoint where the Marshall Fire started

Multiple people recorded video in the early moments of what would become the most destructive fire in Colorado history.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Cell phone video could help pinpoint where the Marshall Fire started.

Multiple people recorded video in the early moments of what would become the most destructive fire in Colorado history.

The Marshall Fire destroyed 991 homes in Superior, Louisville and Boulder County on Thursday.

The videos do not show how the fire started, but they show the fire before the wind took it east toward Superior and Louisville.

Mike Zoltowski recorded a video at 11:42 a.m. walking up to a burning shed.

"When I went out there, walked out there, I saw the shed was almost burned to the ground. I saw three individuals that were huddled between two vehicles. When I went over there to find out what was going on, they said one of their dwellings caught on fire," Zoltowski said.

Zoltowski's videos are the closest to the fire that have been shared. He was staying at a friend's house near Highway 93 and Highway 170. He used the videos to update his friend on the fire near his home, which is next to the property where Boulder County Sheriff's Office investigators have been looking for the cause of the fire.

RELATED: Investigation into cause of Marshall Fire could take weeks, officials say

"The fire department started putting out the shed, but I turned away and when I came back, they were gone and the shed was still on fire, and so I knew something was really wrong," Zoltowski said. "Obviously with the strong winds, something catastrophic was about to happen."

His footage showed the burning shed, but not the property the people he encountered said had caught on fire. Aerial video taken since the fire shows a burned-out home just down from the shed.

"Once I got them to shelter, I walked up to the field and the entire field was on fire, smoke was billowing, and that was enough for me. I was just like, 'I have to go back inside,'" Zoltowski said.

Anne Michaels recorded the earliest video that has been shared. Her video was shot at 11:19 a.m. from just off Marshall Road, below the property where the fire was burning.

"I called 911 at 11:20 a.m. I asked if they were evacuating people in the neighborhood. She said yes," Michaels said.

Seeing the smoke and flames, she stopped at the nearest home to check on the people inside.

"I just felt nervous that the person living closest to the flames wasn't going to get the call or something, so I rang the doorbell several times. It didn't seem like anyone was home," Michaels said.

RELATED: Some who evacuated Marshall Fire never got reverse 911 alert

Michaels said she has reached out to investigators to share her videos.

Zoltowski said detectives already have his videos.

"I hope we can learn from this. I mean, I think that's all we can do," Zoltowski said.

He might also be able to use his videos for his job.

He works with a Canadian company that builds industrial hemp homes, made from hemp and lime.

"The whole idea of all this is we need to figure out a new way to build. Looking at the homes and the destruction that occurred, the polyurethanes and all the chemicals that the homes are made of that made the home go up so fast," Zoltowski said. "The lime is the primary fire retardant, but also having hemp in there, having CO2 exhausted from the block, it's almost like a fire extinguisher. If it spreads, it doesn't ignite. It won't catch fire."

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Full Episodes of Next with Kyle Clark 


Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out