Castle Rock family sheltering Waldo Canyon Fire evacuees
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Thousands of Colorado Springs families are still out of their homes because of the Waldo Canyon Fire. With hotels full across the area, some of them have found places to stay with complete strangers.
We found one family in Castle Rock, 30 miles from the fire zone, that has doubled in size to help a family that had nowhere else to go.
With the flames quickly racing toward their home, Faith Csikesz, her husband, three young children, and her parents grabbed what they could on Tuesday night and left their neighborhood.
“It was just so sudden. We had just been watching it and feeling pretty confident,” she told us. “We were checking on other people and opening our home if you need somewhere to go. We looked outside again and the flames were literally leaping down the face of the mountain. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
They didn’t know where to go, so they drove to a parking lot in Castle Rock.
“I thought our only concern was going to be shelling out money for a hotel, but then I come to find out everything is booked for four hours out, sold out,” said Faith.
With her children, all under the age of six in the back seat, Faith knew they’d have to find a place to call their home away from home.
That’s when their path crossed with Melissa Varela.
“When I ran across them and heard their story, there wasn’t any thinking about it, it was you’re coming to our house, you’re staying with us. We’re taking care of you guys. Whatever you need, as long as you need to stay, we want to help,” said Varela.
“By the grace of God, we were in the middle of the night, welcomed into the home of perfect strangers who acted like we were their family who literally said what’s ours is yours,” Faith said. “They gave us the beds, their food, they cook for us. Not just any family…a family with triplets and two older wonderful daughters, who already have a state of chaos in their home.”
That’s right, Melissa has triplets, along with two older girls. So her family of 7 just became a family of 14. But she would have it no other way.
“We have so much in common,” said Melissa. “The kiddos are around the same age. The girls play with their kids great. We couldn’t ask for anything better.”
She said her husband was completely supportive when she called to tell him about the unexpected guests.
“He was just glad I wasn’t bringing home a dog or a cat.”