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Couple credits neighbor for saving them during Marshall Fire

Zoe Assaly and her boyfriend, Cassidy, were seriously burned while escaping the flames.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Zoe Assaly feels grateful to be recovering at home in Boulder after suffering serious burns in the Marshall Fire. On Dec. 30, she was not sure if she and her boyfriend, Cassidy, were going to make it out alive as they ran away from the flames. 

Assaly drove to the home of Cassidy and his mom west of McCaslin Boulevard to help them evacuate. 

She took a picture of smoke near the home around 1:15 p.m. Cassidy's mom was able to evacuate safely while Assaly and her boyfriend continued to pack things in the car. They thought they had enough time to take more stuff, and then, Assaly said, the flames surrounded the home around 1:30 p.m. 

"The wind switched and changed direction and a huge wall of wind flame engulfed us," she said. "[Cassidy] slammed the door to a wall of flame and sparks, and proceeded to run to the kitchen."

As the fire burned them, the couple ran to an embankment to get out. Assaly said the smoke was so thick that she could only see two feet in front of her.

"The houses on either side are burning," she said. "It is like you are in an inferno at this point and all of a sudden two headlights appear."

Right when they needed help, Assaly said, a neighbor came up the road in a car. The couple was able to jump in, and the man drove them out of the area to safety. 

"He was the last person to evacuate a huge area," she said. "Like what are the odds."

Assaly suffered burns to her hands, leg and back. Cassidy was taken to another hospital for burns to his ears, face and neck. 

Assaly said doctors told her she would be in the hospital for at least six weeks. She only spent two weeks in the hospital. Cassidy is also out of the hospital.

Cassidy's home burned in the Marshall Fire. Before they had to run away from the fire, the couple was able to put some of Cassidy's things in Assaly's car. Her vehicle miraculously didn't burn, so Cassidy was able to recover some of his precious belongings. 

Both of them hope to meet the neighbor who helped them that day. They believe the situation could have been a lot worse if he wasn't there to pick them up. 

"We will forever be grateful to you and think of you every day for the rest of our lives," Assaly said. "Thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

GoFundMe pages have been set up for both Assaly and Cassidy.

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