Louisville police chief loses home in Marshall Fire

Local News

LOUISVILLE, Colo. (KDVR) — Working to put out the most damaging fire in state history was not easy for any of the first responders, but one local leader is feeling the same pain as those he serves as his own home became a casualty of the inferno.

When Louisville Police Chief David Hayes left for work Thursday, he had no idea it would be his last time ever seeing his house in the state he left it.

“What used to be a house and my neighbor’s house was mostly collapsed into what was our basement … and the car that I had in the driveway was completely melted,” Hayes said.

The chief said the night of the fire, he decided he wanted to go home to check on his house and shared his plan with Deputy Chief Jeff Fisher, who’s also a good friend.

“He pulled me aside and said, ‘I think I need to go with you. I don’t think it’s there anymore,'” Hayes said.

The chief said he has not been able to go back to the house he’s had for more than 30 years since that initial check-in.

“I just can’t go back there now in the shape that it’s in. As we start to rebuild, then I’ll go back, because we are going to rebuild. This may sound like a crazy idea, but I want the same exact house back,” Hayes said.

Hayes has worked in law enforcement for decades, but he said this the first time he’s been put in this position.

“I was trying to think the other day if I’ve ever really been the victim of a crime. Certainly not the victim of a fire,” Hayes said. “But it does give you a different perspective, and I think as the police chief I think that’s an important perspective to have. If it’s something good to come from this, I think it’s that. I would never say other things we’ve been through, including COVID, is good, but it certainly taught us how to be resilient.”

The chief said he hopes to carry the tough lesson learned here into his leadership going forward. Hayes wants the public to remember all the others who lost their homes in the fire as well, including another Louisville police officer. He is running for Boulder County Sheriff this election cycle, hoping to use lessons learned here in that race as well.

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