While his family home sustained major fire and smoke damage, Castle Rock resident Jerry Powell said his family is quote fortunate due to community support, quick action of the police and fire …
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While his family home sustained major fire and smoke damage, Castle Rock resident Jerry Powell said his family is quote fortunate due to community support, quick action of the police and fire departments, and the home’s alerts doing what they was supposed to do.
“The house told us something was wrong, and we got out safely,” Powell said. “The alarms worked, everything worked correctly. We will just roll with the punches from there.”
Fire alarms and security alarms went off at 4:24 a.m. March 29, Powell said. He woke up, opened the master-bedroom door and was overtaken by smoke. The entire house was filled with smoke.
Powell asked his wife to call 911. He took his children, ages 7 and 9, outside and then ran back in looking for the source. Based on the smoke, he said it appeared the backyard deck was on fire. He started throwing water on the flames through the glass door in the kitchen. After throwing a second bucket of water on the deck, Powell realized his efforts were futile.
“The flames shot through the vents in the kitchen floor that told to me get out and wait for the boys with sirens,” he said.
Powell said while his family is dealing with the loss of a home, he cannot express enough gratitude for the quick action and professionalism demonstrated by the Castle Rock police and fire departments.
“The response from Castle Rock Fire and Castle Rock Police was superb,” he said. “It was superb in not just how they attacked the fire, but in how they treated my family with such kindness and compassion. We all complain about property taxes here, but I got every penny’s worth when my home caught on fire.”
In investigating the cause of the fire, Powell said the entire basement went up in flames as well as portions of the kitchen floor. Investigators told Powell it appears field mice chewed through the rubber ring between an exhaust vent and the brick, got into the wall, and chewed through the wiring.
Powell said the scary part of the whole ordeal is understanding how an electrical fire can occur and how lucky they are to have gotten out safely. He said it will likely take six months or more to restore the house. While the fire was kept mostly in the basement, the entire home suffered extensive smoke damage, he noted.
Powell said the toughest part of the ordeal is having his children go to bed one night and wake up to experience loss of their belongings. It is more difficult for a child to lose important possessions, he said.
“I have stressed to the kids that is it going to be important to spend time and energy finding solutions and move forward,” he said. “We will just work to stay positive.”
Powell said staying positive is easier thanks to a community like Castle Rock. The Plum Creek resident said friends opened their homes to them, giving them an alternative to a motel room.
The Dads of Castle Rock raised more than $5,000 in a short amount of time to help the family buy clothing and day-to-day items.
“It has been absolutely humbling to see the outpouring of support is amazing. I am so proud of our community and the support we have received,” Powell added.
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