(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.) — The massive Black Forest fire burning near Colorado Springs, Colo., is the most destructive blaze in the state’s history, consuming over 360 homes in the populated, wooded area. Now police say they are investigating the deaths of two people found within the fire zone.
Two bodies were found in their garage near their car with the doors open Thursday. It appears they were loading last-minute items and had waited too long before evacuating, according to El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa, who says friends told police they had just talked to the couple who died trying to escape the flames.
“They could see a glow to the West. They were packing their personal belongings to get out,” Maketa says friends of the couple told authorities.
Though Maketa has given no indication that the fire was intentionally set to the home, the police have started a criminal investigation into the pair’s deaths.
As the fire rages on, 41,000 people are now under mandatory orders to evacuate. During early evacuations, some people refused to leave the area, prompting fears that more bodies could be found.
So far, Sheriff Maketa says approximately 38,000 people and 13,000 homes have already been evacuated or affected by the evacuations.
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