Story: Black Forest Wildfire Survivor Welcomes A Red Cross Hug

Story and photos by Lynette Nyman

When the Black Forest fire started, Sid Webb’s first instinct was to go home. By the time he got near his house it was blocked off.

“The fire hit so fast,” says Sid. “People were leaving in front of a wall of flames.”

That night while staying with friends, he watched TV news coverage of the fire and saw his home burning. There was no doubt about it. The forty-year old wooden structure was kindling for the fire. “The good news,” he says, “is that we had closure immediately.”

Sid and his wife were renting the house. The home was a new start in their lives after downsizing and leaving Atlanta. The Black Forest fire burned everything that they’d kept from their previous life, except their lives.

“You have no clue how fast a fire moves,” Sid says. “If you think you’re going to personally fight fire you’re not, you’re going to die.”

Red Cross disaster relief worker Jody LiVecchi walked the home’s charred remains with Sid. He welcomed a hug from Jody, saying that he needed nothing else.

“I’d rather Red Cross help go to others who need it more.”

Colorado Wildfires

Black Forest, Colorado, wildfire survivor Sid Webb (r) surveys the burned remains of his home with Red Cross disaster relief workers Jody LiVecchi (c) and Jim LiVecchi.

Colorado Wildfires

Nothing remains but burned shards where Sid Webb and his wife lived before the wildfire in Black Forest, Colorado. 

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