SUPERIOR, Colo. — A Boulder police officer is starting over after the Marshall Fire destroyed his family's home of 20 years.
Officer Seth Ireland was at work and his wife was away, so they couldn't pack anything.
"I don’t think anybody could emotionally, mentally, or spiritually prepare for that," Ireland said.
He started his job with the Boulder Police Department (BPD) in July. On the day the Marshall Fire erupted, Ireland was in training.
"I started getting emails on my phone like everything from the town, everything has been evacuated," he said. "I contacted my wife several times."
His wife was OK. She was out of town visiting one of their three kids, all of whom are grown and no longer live in Superior.
Because of the evacuations and the dangerous situation, they couldn't go back to the house to grab anything, including the family's three dogs -- Moab, Hollywood and Moose.
"A lot of stuff is easy to replace, but a lot of it you simply cannot, like our wedding VCR tape and our wedding photos," Ireland said. "We have been married for 25 years. You just can’t get it back."
A life they built with three kids in their house in Superior is now gone. A sergeant with BPD checked on their property the day after the fire and found only their mailbox standing.
Even with everything they own turned to ash, this family still feels lucky. Two neighbors were able to save their three dogs.
"Not an earthly possession left because we weren't there, but they were rescued by two different neighbors," he said. "It is pretty remarkable."
Ireland said a neighbor kicked the door down to get two of the dogs that were hiding in the house.
"As far as the feeling of home goes, it was very helpful to the kids, to us, especially to my wife," he said.
It is a feeling they are holding onto as their community helps them during their most challenging moment yet.
Ireland said he is grateful for how much support the BPD has shown him already. Fellow officers have donated gift cards and money to help his family start over.
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