Fire officials release training video for residents to help protect homes

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Remains of home destroyed by the Marshall Fire in Louisville, Colorado on December 31, 2021. – A fast-spreading wildfire that tore through several Colorado towns — laying waste to entire neighborhoods “in the blink of an eye,” according to the governor — had largely burned itself out Friday, with heavy snow expected to douse any remaining embers. (Photo by Jason Connolly / AFP) (Photo by JASON CONNOLLY/AFP via Getty Images)

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — In response to the Marshall Fire, West Metro Fire Rescue has produced a training video for residents to reduce the chance of a fire destroying their homes.

About the last thing homeowners in Superior and Louisville ever thought would happen, happened.

“Urban firestorms are very rare in the fact that it takes a lot of different things coming together in the right mixture,” WMFR firefighter Jonathan Ashford said.

The department told The Problem Solvers that when it comes to protecting your home from fire, precaution takes priority. That is why they put out the training video on YouTube.

“The goal of that is to provide some very simple things homeowners can do,” Ashford said.

An average home in Lakewood is inspected by WMFR.

”We have a good walkway of material that’s pretty resistant to fire, but right up against the house we have a pretty good-sized pile of wood,” Ashford said, describing the home he was inspecting.

Ashford says those dried-up leaves look harmless but could be a problem.

“After a windy day, walk around your property, look where things collect, where you see leaves piling up – that’s exactly where embers are going to go,” Ashford said.

But what about the fuel that is close, but not actually on your property? 

“If you know who owns the open space behind you, talk to them, see if they are comfortable with you doing anything on their side of the property line,” Ashford said.

The odds of another urban firestorm are low, but so is a head-on car crash, but you still buckle up.

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