So many people were affected by the High Park Fire. Dr. Laurie Goodrich and her husband Jim are survivors of the fire. Thankfully, they didn't lose their home, but they did go through an incredible ordeal.  Dr. Goodrich originally shared her story with her co-workers at CSU.  My wife received that e-mail and shared it with me. It brought tears to my eyes.  I asked Dr. Goodrich if I could share it with you and she said, "Yes".

Here is Dr. Laurie Goodrich's story, in her own words:

To all our friends, families, co-workers and associates,

Back in our house after three long weeks of evacuation. It’s great to be home. We wanted to send out a heartfelt thanks to all of you who called, wrote, texted and e-mailed during this very difficult time. Thank you to those that mourned with us when we thought our house was lost and then cried with us when we realized it had stood through the fire.

The last three weeks has made us realize that not only are we so fortunate to have a home to go to but, more importantly, we have so many people that care about us – believe me we felt the love and it made us realize that you can lose everything but if you have that – you have everything you need in this world. As I looked around me during this disaster, I was so proud of the firemen and women (Jim who was one of them) who sacrificed day and night to protect their community even after suffering the loss of their own homes – true American heroes – they still exist in our country, you don’t have to look far.

A huge thanks to the CSU community for taking care of the animals affected and the victims that lost homes – I feel so fortunate to be part of this environment – it’s not just a workplace but also a family. For those of you inquiring – the house is fine. The landscape has changed but most of the Ponderosa’s around the house made it as well as the green meadows.

The barn is gone including some of our fences but that is inconsequential compared to so many of our friends and neighbors and who lost everything. For every disaster there is usually a silver lining and this one is no different as this event has brought the community closer together with lots of support for those that have lost and a real “bonding” to help rebuild among the neighborhood and community. As I write this, the neighborhood is about to meet to plan our next steps to control soil erosion, cut down burned trees and help the “clean-up” process.

The coming months, years and decades will bring regrowth to our land, mountains and souls. It will be a new way to experience the forest which is all part of the natural process. Thanks again for all of your kindness, love, thoughts and support – we are so very fortunate.

With love,

Laurie and Jim (and Kili and the chickens…..)

Upper left: Fire picking up speed (our property to the right), Upper right: Helicopter sucking up water out of the pond in Paradise Park. Bottom: Jim, Governor Hickenlooper and a Fire Fighting buddy (left to right)

Upper left: Fire coming across the meadow in Paradise Park.  Upper right/Lower left::  View of the fire from the ridges in Paradise Park.  Lower left: Jim – three days into the fire.

The outpouring of support from the community to the firefighters and first responders!