Hero behind terrifying CalWood Fire flame footage speaks exclusively to FOX31

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BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — FOX31 tracked down the drivers in the terrifying footage showing an escape out of a CalWood Fire evacuation zone for an exclusive interview. 

“I know I saved people’s lives and I almost just died,” Luca Churchill said.

Luca Churchill, his twin brother Shiloh and his girlfriend Holland didn’t think twice before heading up to Mountain Ridge Drive Saturday after hearing some friends had to evacuate. 

“When I actually got there everyone was coming down evacuating and the cops didn’t want to let me up but I said, ‘I have to go, my friends are up there,'” Churchill said. 

The Churchill teens run their family’s landscaping company Mountain Sky Lanscaping LLC. They quickly bought hoses and supplies and started to jump on their friend’s roof to set up sprinklers.

 “We were setting one and I saw this huge flame, probably 30-40 feet tall, coming over the ridge. I said to Shiloh and Holland, ‘Go to the car, I’m going to go get the people inside,'” Churchill said.

Reporter Nicole Fierro asked Churchill how much time passed between seeing those first flames and the shocking footage captured of their escape.

“That wasn’t a minute,” he said. “I think if we would have been there a minute more, the flames would have surrounded and I don’t think we’d be here, honestly. Those flames, I mean, they were like 40 to 50 feet high and I opened my window for a second and I thought I got burned for a second.”

Holland said the experience seemed to last much longer than it actually did.

“It was probably like a minute and a half, but it felt like forever,” said Holland.

She says despite what they went through, they’d do it all again.

“It was really scary and traumatic and I have nightmares, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat to help people. If we weren’t there, I don’t know if they would have made it out, and that’s really scary to think about,” she said.

The journey was terrifying but 16-year-old Churchill says it is is a proud moment he will never forget.

“It makes me feel amazing. I know I put myself in danger going through that and people are like, ‘Why did you do that?”’ Churchill said, adding, “I was like, ‘Well, I’d rather save two people’s lives and threaten my life a little bit but I’d do that to save people.’ That’s how I grew up, I’ve always wanted to help people and I actually got to help.”

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