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Horse and goats saved by pilot, firefighters doing OK

5:44 PM, Mar 25, 2011   |    comments
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The Douglas County Sheriff's Office says the fire was contained within 24 hours because of quick efforts of firefighters and helicopter pilots putting water on the flames.

In one instance, a dual attack by firefighters and one helicopter pilot saved the Martins' horse and two of her companion goats.

The Martins were struggling in traffic to get home from work as the fire crept closer.

Their horse, named Missy, and her two goat companions, Victory and Indiana, were left in the pasture as the flames reached the fence line of their property.

Cindy Martin was hearing all of this as she was on the phone with her friend driving home.

"She was watching TV and she was telling me everything that was happening," said Martin. "She goes, 'It's getting closer and closer to your house. That's your house on TV.'"

She and her husband learned her 20-year-old horse was standing right near the flames.

"From the footage, she keeps migrating to the fire side," Alan Martin said.

It turns out Missy was trying to protect the two goats near the flames.

"It was like she was not wanting to leave the penned up goats," Alan Martin said.

Eventually, a neighbor came and tied a lead rope to Missy to help her get away from the fire.

The work of a South Metro Fire crew and helicopter pilot Brian Toomey also helped douse the flames.

"I've had days where I can't hit the broad side of a dang barn," Toomey said.

Toomey is a pilot for Rampart Helicopter Services, a private fire-fighting helicopter service near Castle Rock.

On Thursday, his accuracy was spot on.

"It's luck, and I don't get 'em all," he said.

Toomey says he dropped a total of 70 buckets of water at 350 gallons each in a three-hour period.

"It was attacked very well," Alan Martin said.

"The firefighters were amazing, and the helicopter drop..." Cindy Martin said, "I watched it this morning, and I can't believe how precise and how amazing - if it hadn't been for him."

Both Toomey and his boss Jeff Armstrong with Rampart Helicopter Services say they've gotten several calls and new contracts since Thursday because of their work along the fire lines.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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