MONTE VISTA — Savino Sanchez and his wife Chandra Campos along with their three children were one of six families who lost their home in a wind-driven fire on April 20 in Monte Vista.
“I was at work at the time of the fire," Savino said. "My wife was at home taking a nap. That morning my wife had gone to the doctor and had gotten home and was tired. She let me know she was going to go to sleep and that was the last I heard from her before I got the other call. It all happened so fast.”
The fire burned over 17 acres, and 15 structures were burned in the fire, according to reports. A cause for the fire has not yet been determined, but police and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation are currently investigating.
“When my phone rang and my wife said that our cars were on fire and the house was on fire, I really did not know what to think," Savino said. "I work in Center on the Nine Mile Road, so I wasn’t near home at all. I drove out to my boss and asked him to take me to Monte Vista because my house was on fire. The scary thing to me was to look up and be able to see smoke, all the way out on the nine-mile road. When we got into Monte Vista by the Coors plant, everything was already blocked off. I called my wife and she said she was standing in the back of Nino’s just watching our house burn down. I really couldn’t believe it at all."
The Sanchez family lived in Reinhardt Mobile Home Park. Savino said his wife had told him when she saw the wall of fire coming toward her, she ran out of the house without shoes or a jacket or anything and was trying to decide fast what to do.
“My wife was able to open the kennels for our dogs, so she let our three dogs out, along with our cat too, but I am sad to say, our guinea pig stayed in the house," Savino said.
Savino said that his wife also saw a couple of guys from Absolute Shine coming toward the house with fire extinguishers trying to put out the fire, but when the guys figured out that the fire was too much, they along with his wife ran to safety as the fire spread quickly, there was simply nothing else they could do.
“We had just finished paying off our trailer last year. For us this is just heart-wrenching and heartbreaking,” Savino said.
After authorities gained control of the fire and the couple was able to look through the debris of what had once been their home, Savino said he was hurt but happy to find one memory that his wife and he had been holding on to for years.
“When our daughter Sasha was born, we started a Disney fund for her, in a 10-gallon water bucket. Even though all the dollar bills that were in there were burned up, we found a lot of the change that was in that bucket, so we were thankful to find that change for her,” Savino said.
Savino said that they lost almost everything in the fire, including a white vehicle that they owned.
They are currently staying with her mother, and Savino has said that he is thankful to all the first responders who helped his wife, and everyone get to safety when the fire first broke out.
“I thank God first and foremost, for saving my wife and keeping everyone out there safe, and I also thank everyone who was there and helping, because these people are the ones who saved everyone out there," Savino said.
Savino also thanked the community for all the support that they have given him and his family.
“We are grateful to everyone who has helped us, and we also want to thank State Representative Donald Valdez who donated a car to our family. We are so grateful to him, too," Savino said. "There were some angry people who wanted to blame the city for the fire, but the city and fire department and cops, they did what they could to help everyone. We have lost a lot, but we still have our family. We are so grateful for that.”