A raging Colorado wildfire that forced tens of thousands to flee has left at least one person dead and has destroyed an estimated 346 homes in Colorado Springs this week, making it the most destructive fire in the state's history, officials said Thursday.
Police Chief Pete Carey said the remains of one person were found in a home where two people had been reported missing. He didn't elaborate or take questions after making the announcement late Thursday.
From above, the fire's destruction is painfully clear: Rows and rows of houses were reduced to smoldering ashes even as some homes just feet away survived largely intact.
At a meeting Thursday night, Rebekah and Byron Largent learned from lists distributed by authorities that their home was among those that burned Tuesday, their daughter Emma's first birthday.
"Our minds just started sifting through all the memories of that house that we lost that can't be replaced," Rebekah Largent said. She remembered her wedding dress, a grandmother's china, the rocking chair where the couple would sit with Emma.
"Our little girl, our 1-year-old daughter, that's the house that she's lived in the longest. It's just really hard to have lost a lot of the memories connected to that, you know? They just burned," she said.
On one street, all but three houses had burned to their foundations, said Ryan Schneider, whose home was still standing in a neighborhood where 51 others were destroyed.
Tens of thousands of people remain evacuated.