SUPERIOR, Colo. — It was a scene that may be most unbelievable to those who saw it firsthand.
“There was fire flying, hitting my car, bouncing off,” Brey Ahrens said about her drive through the Marshall Fire as thousands evacuated.
Her sister Chey Ahrens was in another part of town attempting the same uncertain drive.
“Cardboard boxes on fire, just like blowing, walloping into people's cars really fast,” she said.
The sisters somehow survived December 30.
But when they were in it they weren't sure each other would make it.
“The last thing I heard from her is there's fire underneath my car and then, ‘I'm up against a house like of 30 foot wall of flames,’” Chey recalled her sister saying before her call dropped.
What made the idea that each might lose her sister even scarier was that they had really just found each other just a couple of years earlier.
“I was in California and she was in Nevada,” Chey said of her sister in 2020.
Separated when they were young children, the sisters, eight years apart in age, weren't close and hadn't seen each other in years.
“We grew up separate with separate families,” said Brey. “We don't have the traditional parents and siblings.”
They reconnected in 2020.
“You’re not a baby anymore,” Chey remembered saying after seeing her younger sister for the first time in years.
“One day she called me and she was like, ‘I lost my job because of COVID,’ and I was like, ‘I did, too.’ And she's like, ‘Do you want to move together?’” Brey said.
The two picked Colorado. And after about a year in the Centennial State the two landed in Superior just a month before the Marshall Fire.
“This is our fresh start. And then to just kind of have it ripped away…I think I'm still in shock,” said Chey.
The fire burned everything they owned to the ground and likely took the lives of Brey’s new dog Shirely and Chey’s two cats Pepper and Waffle.
They have only the clothes they wore to work that day and the sister they now couldn't imagine trying to survive without.
“That would be actual hell,” said Chey thinking of the fire they drove through.
“It's like really hard losing a lot of things, but just to know that you kind of have someone and someone to check on you and just a good support system means a lot,” she said.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her,” added Brey.
“Being alone in a state…is really hard,” said Chey.
“New Year's we fell asleep with each other holding hands,” said Brey of their first night after the fire.
The new friends they have already made have rallied to help the sisters. There is also a GoFundMe to help with their recovery.
Chey is staying with a friend and Brey’s boss at Camp Little Tooth Pediatric Dentistry took her in at her home.
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