Questions have swirled about whether Barbara Jean and William Everett, the couple who died in the Waldo Canyon Fire, were aware the fire was upon them.
In response to our questions, Colorado Springs Police spokeswoman Barbara Miller says this in an e-mail:
While Mr. and Mrs. Everett did not have a land-line phone, our Investigators do know that they were aware of and preparing to, evacuate. When a family member called them, they told him they were getting ready to evacuate. We did have officers on Rossmere Street with a bullhorn as well as, knocking door to door announcing to residents that they needed to evacuate. Our officers only kept a list of names and cell phone numbers of those residents who refused to evacuate.
In other words, the Everetts, both in their 70s, weren't on the list of those who refused to evacuate, so they apparently were trying to leave but were overcome by the flames that poured into the upper Mountain Shadows neighborhoods about 4:30 p.m. on June 26 — 45 minutes before the city issued a press release telling residents to flee.
Read more about the city's handling of the evacuation, as we reported in last week's issue, here.
The Everetts' identities were released by authorities July 5.
Meantime, Denver TV station KMHG-TV is reporting that a significant number of the evacuation phone calls weren't delivered.