Colorado Couple in Their 80s Die in Wildfire After Refusing to Evacuate Beloved Home

A Colorado couple, age 86 and 84, who did not evacuate from their home as it was threatened by the East Troublesome Fire has died, according to the Grand County sheriff. 

The bodies of Lyle and Marilyn Hildeman were recovered Friday from their burned residence. The fire is one of the two largest wildfires in Colorado history, both of which are still burning in the state.

In a video posted to Facebook, Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin described the events around the couple’s decision to stay with their home outside Grand Lake, which he said had been in their family for many years.

The couple chose to remain at their beloved home despite warnings about the danger, Schroetlin said on Friday.

Officials and a family friend drove through roadblocks Wednesday to rescue the couple, but the couple refused the offers of help, said a statement from the family, read by Schroetlin in the video: “All offers to leave were refused. At 86 and 84 years of age (their) only desire was to be together in the home they loved.”

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SOURCE: USA Today; Fort Collins Coloradoan, Rebecca Powell

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