BOULDER, Colo. — On Sunday, residents were able to return home after first responders lifted all evacuation orders for the NCAR Fire.
One family was grateful to go back, knowing how close the fire got to their backyard.
Darren Kelly lives in the Devil's Thumb neighborhood in South Boulder. On Saturday, he saw planes drop fire retardant as flames got closer to his fence.
"It was kind of like a bomb had gone off," he said. "Maybe 1,000 feet away from our backyard."
As his family packed before evacuating, Kelly got some help from a friend who went through the same thing during the Marshall Fire.
"He said, listen, just take the memorabilia and things that are important that can't be replaced," Kelly said.
Kelly packed pictures of his daughters, documents and passports. He also grabbed someone for his friend's daughter.
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"One of the things I did throw in the back of the car was his daughter's hockey gear bag because she lost all of her hockey gear," Kelly said. "My daughter and his daughter play together, and so I didn’t think it would be good for her to lose two sets of gear in three months."
Kelly's family left not knowing if their house would make it.
"Unfortunately for some of us who live in the South Boulder area, we are sort of used to this," he said.
This time, firefighters saved his neighborhood. Kelly's family was filled with gratitude as they returned home on Sunday, while knowing their friend wasn't as lucky after the Marshall Fire.
"I think we are going to be very thankful when we go through the door," he said.
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