Homeowners who lost everything in wildfire want answers

Homeowners who lost everything in wildfire want answers


JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — Finger pointing, covering up and not accepting responsibility. That’s what some of the key homeowners, who lost everything, are saying about the Lower North Fork Fire.

They also say they want the truth to come out.

Andy Hoover is the grandson of President Herbert Hoover and a well known member of the community hit hardest by the fire last month.

Hoover says he, the family of Ann Appel and others are not happy with the way different agencies seem to be passing the blame.

The fire killed his neighbors Sam and Moaneti Lucas and Ann Appel.

“Ann was a close friend and I mean she’s gone,” Hoover says.

He’d talked to all three neighbors in their final hour as the fire moved up the hill.

Now as recordings of 911 emergency calls and radio dispatch tapes are released, Hoover says he and Ann Appel’s husband Scott are fighting to bring out the truth…about what really happened.

“No one from the fire department came up or knocked at the door so that I could hear it and I did answer the door for some people,” Hoover says.

They are questioning the veracity of some accounts leading up to the fire.

“There was poor judgment in starting that controlled burn and controlling it. I can say for the record that it was never extinguished.”

They’re also questioning accounts of what followed.

“They have been saying things that are flatly untrue. People who are making up stories to make themselves look good… I hope are going to be thoroughly embarrassed when we’re done. And there’s a lot of that going on,” Hoover says.

Hoover lost everything, including historic treasures. “My grandfather was the president of the United States. When I built that house I tried to build it so it wouldn’t burn because you can’t insure that stuff,” he says.

But now that it’s gone, he says no officials have contacted him for his account.

They find it unbelievable that state liability is limited to $600,000 dollars.

“Scott [Appel] has suffered a huge loss and it’s hit him hard and it’s going to take some time to heal that loss.”

Hoover says he believes the timelines of what happened will eventually prove that the truth lies somewhere outside of what is being said publicly right now.

A public memorial for Ann Appel will be held this Saturday at 10 a.m. at West Bowles Community Church.

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