THORNTON, Colo. (KDVR) — First responders extinguished a vegetation fire in Thornton in an open space gulch area between Shadow Ridge Middle School and the Concord neighborhood on Friday.
“Behind me, you just see a lot of fire, a big blaze out of nowhere,” Joe Rudden, a neighbor in the area said.
The fire began before 2 p.m. but was considered contained 30-minutes later. Neighbors telling FOX31 and Channel 2 they feel like the lack of winds in the area helped keep homes from catching fire.
“I came out here and put the water hose and started spraying water right here,” said Debi Darcy, a neighbor whose house backs up to the open area.
A total of eight units, seven from Thornton and one from North Metro, responded to the blaze. Thornton Fire stated North Metro Fire came over to help. But Shadow Ridge Middle School was never evacuated.
“They didn’t feel like the middle school was in danger. There is concrete on the sidewalk also its going up winds,” said Stephanie Harpring, Assistant Chief Thornton Fire Prevention.
Neighbors like Rudden jumped into action to try and stop the fire from spreading closer to the neighborhood. He knocked on several neighbors’ doors and used multiple waterholes to stop the fire.
“I think they took the natural steps in wanting to protect their property, so if they had a hose they pulled it out,” Harpring said.
Some neighbors stated they received an emergency notification on their phones while others said police went door-to-door and told people to grab their pets and special stuff and evacuate.
“It was scary. What if this would have happened yesterday? This whole neighborhood would have been gone with all that wind,” Rudden said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation but neighbors told both fire investigators and our crews on scene that they saw teenagers hanging down in the area where the fire started prior. Thornton fire couldn’t confirm if that was true.
“We do have some witnesses who saw individuals. We don’t know yet if they caused the fire,” Harpring said.
There was no Red Flag Warning in effect today in this area.
Photos sent to FOX31 show thick smoke and flames spreading across a field.