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'The Terror I Felt... Still Haunts Me': Reporter Recalls Watching Marshall Fire Devour Her Neighborhood

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - Hundreds of Coloradans are returning to see what's left of their home and neighborhoods after the Marshall Fire ravaged parts of Boulder County on Dec. 30. Among them are CBS4's Political Specialist Shaun Boyd and her family.

After taking a couple of days to process, Shaun shared her story with CBS4 staff on Jan. 1.

Shaun decided to share it with CBS4 viewers:

As one of the hundreds, maybe thousands, of people impacted by the Marshall fire, I want to thank all of you who have been covering the utter devastation it has left in its wake.  You have shown such compassion and that means a lot right now.

Boyd house 4
(credit: Shaun Boyd/CBS)

Many of you may not know that I live on Davidson Mesa in the Spanish Hills subdivision near McCaslin and South Boulder Road. On Thursday night, I sat just outside our neighborhood and cried as the fire exploded and consumed one house after another in my wonderful neighborhood. Just hours earlier, my kids, husband and I left our home and everything we own in life behind. We received no reverse 911. One minute the smoke was miles away, the next minute the open space just above our house was on fire and there was ash falling from the sky. I had packed a "to-go" bin in case of a fire, and we didn't even take time to grab it. Our house is in a part of the neighborhood where there is only one road in and out. I knew all it would take is one ember to spark a spot fire and block our escape. The terror I felt in that moment still haunts me. I am so very thankful - and amazed - no one died.

Boyd house 5
(credit: Shaun Boyd/CBS)

We went to bed (but not sleep) that night at a hotel thinking our home was gone. The next morning, my husband hiked in and was shocked by what he saw. Our house stood in the middle of a wasteland - untouched by fire. Every house in every direction around us is gone. Every single one. You can see where the fire just stopped in our backyard. I cried out of gratitude and then out of guilt. I love our neighbors. I just can't understand how and why our home was spared and not their homes.

Boyd house 1
(credit: Shaun Boyd/CBS)

I have covered countless wildfires over the last 23 years. I have hugged, held the hands of and cried with so many fire victims but, until now, I didn't understand the almost paralyzing sense of helplessness that overcomes you. I have been in touch with my neighbors, and I know many of them will rebuild but our beautiful neighborhood will never be the same. Our house sustained heavy smoke damage and I'm not sure when we will be able to return, but the fact that we have a house to return to is nothing short of a miracle.

Thank you to those who have reached out to let me know you are thinking of me and my family. I am so moved by all the support we have received.


RELATED: Resources For Marshall Fire Victims

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