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Human remains found in the area of last week’s Colorado fire where thousands were forced to evacuate


The partial human remains of an adult were found in the vicinity of Colorado‘s destructive Marshall Fire, which forced thousands to evacuate their homes and left two missing in the chaos. 

Investigators discovered the remains on Thursday at the 5900 block of Marshall Road in unincorporated Boulder County. They have yet to be identified, according to a Boulder County Sheriff’s Office press release.     

Two missing persons investigations were launched after the Marshall Fire began on December 30. A third person who was feared missing was found safe, said Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle. 

Jennifer Churchill, a Boulder County Public Affairs Associate, told DailyMail.com that until the county ‘has concluded finding missing persons, we aren’t putting out any personal information.’  

U.S. Forest Service employees are pictured joining firefighters in assessing the remains of trees and homes destroyed by wildfires on Tuesday. Investigators uncovered human remains at a home on Marshall Road in unincorporated Boulder County on Thursday

The identity of the person whose remains were located on Thursday was not released. Pictured it the 5900 block of Marshall Road in unincorporated Boulder County, where the partial remains were found

The identity of the person whose remains were located on Thursday was not released. Pictured it the 5900 block of Marshall Road in unincorporated Boulder County, where the partial remains were found

Pictured is the property on Marshall Road in unincorporated Boulder County, where partial remains were found among the ashes. Now, only one person is still missing

Pictured is the property on Marshall Road in unincorporated Boulder County, where partial remains were found among the ashes. Now, only one person is still missing

Investigators discovered the remains on Thursday at the 5900 block of Marshall Road in unincorporated Boulder County. They have yet to be identified, according to a Boulder County Sheriff's Office press release (pictured)

Investigators discovered the remains on Thursday at the 5900 block of Marshall Road in unincorporated Boulder County. They have yet to be identified, according to a Boulder County Sheriff’s Office press release (pictured)

 There is another ongoing investigation at a home on the 1500 block of South 76th Street in Superior remains ongoing, a farmhouse property belonging to a 91-year-old Nadine Turnbull, who has been missing since evacuations began last Thursday.

On Monday, Pelle had said that each of the structures associated with the missing residents were ‘completely destroyed’ and covered with snow. 

Turnbull’s family say that she was in a home with one of her nieces as the fire draw closer. Somehow, the pair became separated as firefighters set about evacuating the area.

They hope that rescuers may have taken her to an evacuation center. She was reported missing to the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.

 Scotty Roberts, who lived next door to her property with his wife and two children in an RV that was ravaged by the fast-burning fire, told KRDO the he and a sheriff’s deputy managed to get Layla, Turnbull’s adult granddaughter, out of the house.

However, he said they were unable to save the 91-year-old woman.   

The Marshall Fire burnt more than 6,000 acres of land before it was contained on Monday. A home in the Centennial Heights neighborhood of Louisville, Colorado is pictured engulfed in flames

The Marshall Fire burnt more than 6,000 acres of land before it was contained on Monday. A home in the Centennial Heights neighborhood of Louisville, Colorado is pictured engulfed in flames

He said he flagged down a sheriff’s deputy in a pick up truck after he and his family evacuated their home     

‘I told him we had a neighbor that was stuck in her house and we needed to get her out, and he said, “Come on, Bud, let’s go get her.”‘

Roberts said banged on Turnbull’s front door, yelling ‘You got to get out of the fire Nadine!’ 

She opened the door, and Roberts said that  ‘as soon as [the door opened] the fire [came] in, and if just engulfed everything. The front of the whole house was on fire.’ 

Roberts slammed the door shut behind him and looked for another exit inside – a side door had clutter in front of it, and he just started ‘throwing everything’ and ‘got that door wide open.’

He told Layla to run, and she managed to escape the blaze. But Turnbull, Roberts said, was caught up with her dogs, who were on leashes around her arms that they wound around table legs in the house. 

 Roberts couldn’t breathe anymore, and had to run out of the burning building. 

‘I feel so bad, I left her laying there, and I just feel so bad about that. I tried so hard. I just kept telling her, “Nadine, I’m sorry Nadine, I’m sorry.”‘

Pictured are burned homes in Louisville, Colorado on Tuesday. Thousands were forced to evacuate in the town

Pictured are burned homes in Louisville, Colorado on Tuesday. Thousands were forced to evacuate in the town

A firefighter is pictured standing amid the rubble of a home destroyed by the Marshall Fire in Superior on Tuesday

A firefighter is pictured standing amid the rubble of a home destroyed by the Marshall Fire in Superior on Tuesday

Roberts said he didn’t know where the sheriff’s deputy went, but didn’t blame him, saying ‘as soon as the door opened and that oxygen hit that fire, everything went whoosh.’

A Boulder County Sheriff’s spokeswoman declined to tell KROD what happened to the deputy, writing via email that the department is focused on dealing with the aftermath of the fire. 

By the time the fire’s whole perimeter had been contained on Monday, after it had raged on for seven days, it had consumed over 6,000 acres of land. 

 Governor Jared Polis declared a state of emergency in the area, evacuating tends of thousands of people as the wind-driven flames tore through neighborhoods. In the flames, 991 homes were destroyed, and almost 130 other structures were damaged. 

The fire was fueled in the foothills and neighborhoods along the eastern base of the Rocky mountains, and thrived in ‘record dryness’ in the region, federal forecasters said.  

‘This was consuming football field lengths of land in seconds,’ Pelle said in a news conference Dec. 30. 

On Monday, Pelle said that an investigation into the cause of the blaze is ‘in full force and full swing.’ 

A passerby captured a video Thursday of the burning shed on Colorado State Highway 93 and Marshall Road that could have been the starting point of the fire as it began ravaging the Denver suburbs, writing, ‘There is no fire beyond this point towards the west side.’

Crews are still looking for a 91-year-old woman at a home in Superior. Nadine Turnbull is pictured, above

Nadine Turnbull, from Superior, has been missing since evacuations began last Thursday

Crews are still looking for 91-year-old Nadine Turnbull at her home in Superior

Scotty Roberts, pictured with his wife Kourtney Bell, said he tried to pull missing woman Nadine Turnbull from her burning home in the 1500 block of South 76st Street in Superior. Now, an investigation there is ongoing

Scotty Roberts, pictured with his wife Kourtney Bell, said he tried to pull missing woman Nadine Turnbull from her burning home in the 1500 block of South 76st Street in Superior. Now, an investigation there is ongoing

The property belongs to The Twelve Tribes, a cult that sprung out of an early 1970s youth Bible study group in Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

 Pelle warned Monday that investigators will be ‘careful’ before reaching any conclusions. Sheriff’s officials previously confirmed that they carried out a search warrant in connection to the fire.

‘We will sort it out. It’s an active, open deal and the outcome of that investigation is vital, there is so much at stake,’ Pelle said in a press conference Monday.

‘We’re going to take our time and be methodical because the stakes are huge,’ he added.

 On Friday, President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Colorado to survey the fire’s damage. 

Gonzalo ‘Chalo’ Quesada 58-year-old man suffering from Alzheimer’s who had just week to live has was confirmed among the fire fatalities on Friday after he was saved from his burning home in Superior.  

A former software engineer for IBM, Quesada was housebound and had no verbal or motor for ten years. Suffering from Alzheimer’s and aphasia, doctors  believe he would not have lived for much longer. 

Gonzalo 'Chalo' Quesada 58-year-old man suffering from Alzheimer's who had just week to live has was confirmed among the fire fatalities on Friday after he was saved from his burning home in Superior

Quesada was housebound and had no verbal or motor for ten years. Suffering from Alzheimer's and aphasia, doctors believe he would not have lived for much longer

Gonzalo ‘Chalo’ Quesada 58-year-old man suffering from Alzheimer’s who had just week to live has was confirmed among the fire fatalities on Friday after he was saved from his burning home in Superior 

 As tens of thousands of people began evacuating their homes, Quesada’s wife and sister were able to summon an ambulance before the Marshall Fire wiped out their entire block.

Quesada was taken to Avista Adventist hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation but then that too was forced to evacuate. Quesada was taken to a hospice in Denver.  

‘They got him cleaned up and he was resting comfortably,’ says his wife Michelle Quesada to WWLP. ‘But his breathing was very erratic, and we knew he wasn’t going to make it through the night, the trauma from his body being jostled around and the smoke inhalation was really, really bad. 

‘It’s really unfortunate that he was in the latter stages of his illness, and this was the way he was going to go out,’ she added. 

The hospice center confirmed to the family that Quesada died from a combination of his illness, smoke inhalation and the sheer physical trauma he experienced by the evacuation.        



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