Tens of thousands of Colorado residents waited anxiously on Friday to find out what was left of their neighborhoods after the wildfires, including a woman who watched in horror through her doorbell camera as the flames engulf her home .
Authorities fear more than 500 homes have been lost after wind-powered wildfires wreaked havoc in the towns of Superior and Louisville, just outside Denver, on Thursday.
At least seven people were injured, but there were no immediate reports of deaths or missing people as a result of the blaze.
Some residents only had a few minutes to evacuate before the flames and thick smoke billowed out, authorities said.
“We could have our own New Year’s miracle in our hands if it confirms that there has been no loss of life,” Governor Jared Polis said on Friday.
A woman, who was among tens of thousands of evacuees, managed to connect to her doorbell camera and watch her home engulfed in flames.
The woman, identified only as Wendy, posted the terrifying video on Twitter Thursday evening – saying she wasn’t sure her house was still standing.
The footage showed flames and thick smoke billowing in his yard and around his house around 1:30 p.m.
A few minutes later, the camera lost the connection.
“I’m numb. I don’t know if our house is still standing, if there is anything left,” she wrote. “Four minutes before the flames were visible here, there was a blue sky and the smoke seemed to rise and pass a ridge of us. “
Poignant images taken by local law enforcement showed rows of houses completely devastated by flames and with no hope of being saved on Thursday afternoon.
Around 17H, aerial video taken from a commercial aircraft the flyby showed sections of the towns glowing in flames as the wires ravaged the area.
The flames disappeared in the first light on Friday as authorities began to assess what remained of the smoking homes.
“It’s amazing when you look at the devastation that we don’t have a list of 100 missing people,” Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said.
He added that some neighborhoods were reduced to mere “smoking holes in the ground”.
The sheriff urged residents to wait until everything is clear to return, warning that it was still too dangerous in many areas due to fires and falling power lines.
Evacuations were ordered earlier Thursday for the cities of Louisville and Superior, which are home to 34,000 people in total – and some streets were completely blocked off as residents tried to flee.
Footage showed terrified customers rushing to evacuate a Costco and Chuck E Cheese in Superior as smoke quickly engulfed the area.
Parents could be heard screaming inside the Chuck E Cheese as they noticed flickers of flames crossing the parking lot, a video showed.
Meanwhile, a passerby outside the nearby Costco captured an apocalyptic scene as winds blew across the parking lot and small fires scattered across the ground.
The first fire broke out just before 10:30 am Thursday and was “assaulted quite quickly,” Sheriff Pelle said. A second wildfire, which was reported just after 11 a.m., “swelled and spread rapidly east,” Pelle said.
Some of the many fires in the area on Thursday were started by broken power lines.
“It’s the kind of fire we can’t fight head-on,” Pelle said. “We actually had deputy sheriffs and firefighters in the areas who had to withdraw because they had just been overrun,” he added.
Governor Polis, who declared a state of emergency, said the flames consumed football fields across the landscape within seconds.
Wind gusts of up to 110 miles per hour have been reported in Boulder, according to the National Weather Service, which said rapid fires were creating a “life-threatening situation” in the Superior and Louisville areas. .
With post wires