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As first homes burned, 1 man tried to stop the Marshall Fire flames

Mike Macinko had a home just down the street from where investigators believe the Marshall Fire started.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — The wildfire quickly engulfed homes in the Marshall area in Boulder County shortly after investigators believe it started. Before the flames destroyed nearly a thousand others, neighbors tried to fight the fire themselves and save their homes.

The neighborhood is right near where investigators believe the fire started. One man drove through the neighborhood as the houses were burning, doing what he could to try and save them.

"It was like trying to kill a rhinoceros with a toothpick," said Mike Macinko. "Just impossible."

As the fire destroyed his neighborhood, Macinko drove from house to house doing everything he could to try and stop the flames from spreading. His home was one of the first to burn. He had no idea nearly 1,000 others would follow soon.

"It wasn’t like you had time to sit back and almost grieve. It was just a blast furnace that vaporized a house," said Macinko. "I’m used to being able to have some effect when I give it my all. And I didn’t have any effect."

Macinko’s home is just down the street from where the first flames of the Marshall Fire were reported. The wind spread the fire in a matter of minutes and there was nothing he could do.

"You felt helpless," said Macinko. "You felt defeated."

Macinko was fixing up the home in the Marshall area and had just bought it less than a year ago. He said he just put a new coat of paint on it last week.

To make matters much worse, Macinko had a second home in the Sagamore neighborhood just down the street. A couple hours after those videos were taken, he found out that home was destroyed as well.

"I’m sitting there trying to save one house while everything I own burns down in another house 10 miles away," said Macinko. "In the span of three hours, both were wiped off the face of the Earth. There’s nothing left."

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