SUPERIOR, Colo. (KDVR) — A life was lost during the course of the Marshall Fire, which forced tens of thousands to evacuate their homes in Boulder County.
Gonzalo “Chalo” Quesada died Friday morning, following hospitalization after being rushed from his burning home in Superior, according to his family. He was 58 years old.
His family tells FOX31 Quesada had multiple complicated health issues that devolved into dementia, Alzheimer’s and aphasia. He lost verbal and motor skills a decade ago. He was homebound at the time of the fire, and doctors only gave him weeks to live prior to the inferno.
According to his family, Quesada’s wife and sister were able to get an ambulance to their home in the Sagamore neighborhood, before the Marshall Fire destroyed the entire block.
He was rushed to Avista Adventist hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. Within minutes of Quesada’s arrival, the hospital was placed under evacuation orders. His family then moved Quesada to hospice care in Denver.
“They got him cleaned up and he was resting comfortably,” says his wife Michelle Quesada. “But his breathing was very erratic, and we knew he wasn’t going to make it through the night, the trauma from his body being jostled around and the smoke inhalation was really, really bad.”
The hospice center told the family Quesada passed due to a combination of his illness, smoke inhalation and physical trauma from the evacuations.
“It’s really unfortunate that he was in the latter stages of his illness, and this was the way he was going to go out,” says Michelle.
Quesada, a former software engineer with IBM, is survived by his wife and three children. A GoFundMe has been set up to support the family, which is also dealing with the total loss of their home.