x
Breaking News
More () »

Body camera videos captured heroism in the Marshall Fire

"I am so grateful that he came to my house. I am so grateful that he took my pets. Those were my biggest concerns more than everything."

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Eight videos shared by the Boulder County's Sheriff's Office show deputies evacuating a Costco, giving people rides to safety, going door-to-door and saving pets and animals as the Marshall Fire spread on Dec. 30.

"I, actually, was on the hill playing with my dog and saw the fire," said Superior resident Beverly Vella.

Vella lives east of McCaslin Boulevard and south of U.S. 36. She captured cell phone video of the smoke billowing over the Costco at 12:10 p.m., just as a sheriff's deputy started to evacuate the store.

"I called my husband at 1:00 when I saw the evacuation notice come through," said Vella.

An evacuation alert. Unlike many who have reached out to Next with Kyle Clark, Vella was signed up for the opt-in Boulder County reverse notification alerts.

RELATED: Marshall Fire shows gaps in emergency alert systems

RELATED: 'I haven't had a landline in … 17 years'; Neighbor, not emergency alert, told residents to evacuate in Marshall Fire

RELATED: How to sign up for your county's emergency alerts

"I got a 911 call, as well as an email and a text message," said Vella. "When I spoke to two of my neighbors, they were like 'get out now' and I was like, 'Uh oh, I'm in trouble.'"

You see, Vella didn't have a car at home. Her husband had their only vehicle. Not that it mattered.

"I can't drive," said Vella. "I'm from New York City, originally. I have a driver's license. I have taken a couple of lessons, but it's not really for me."

Credit: 9NEWS
Beverly Vella

She needed to be evacuated by someone else, though she said she would have driven if she needed to.

"I got a call from my husband, saying, 'They're not letting me back in, but the deputy said he's going to come and get you,'" said Vella.

One of the body camera videos shared by the Boulder County Sheriff's Office shows the evacuation of Vella and her pets.

"I've got a dog, Zoe. She is one-year old and she is the greatest bulldog ever. Super cooperative and super friendly. Worst guard dog ever is what I usually tell people," said Vella.

The video shows the deputy helping a really friendly Zoe into the back of his SUV.

Vella carried her three kids in two carriers.

"Sigyn, Odin and Freya," she said.

Her escape lasted about 10 minutes.

RELATED: Bodycam video captured frantic moments as deputies evacuated people, pets, businesses during Marshall Fire

"He did pass a car that was on fire, and he radioed that in and said that there was nobody in it," said Vella. "[He] was telling people, 'Go that way. Go that way. Follow me. Follow me.'"

She and her pets made it out safely. Her home made it, too.

Credit: BCSO

Vella said the deputy has called her since the evacuation, but they have not connected because she could not pick up.

"He actually gave me a call on the 4th to check in. He was just checking to make sure 'You and your husband are OK. Give me a call back if you want, you don't have to,'" said Vella.

They have played phone tag, but she still wants to give a proper thanks.

"I am so grateful that he came to my house. I am so grateful that he took my pets. Those were my biggest concerns more than everything," said Vella. "I'm just very, very thankful. My entire family is very thankful that he came to the door and got me because I can't drive."

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Full Episodes of Next with Kyle Clark

Paid Advertisement