Archpriest Anthony Karbo shared the following on Thursday evening:
reports: 346 homes destroyed...though surely hundreds more damaged by
smoke, etc. By the grace of God, presently only one person reportedly
died, but I only saw a headline to that end and no other information on
Did the Supplicatory canon at the temple the last few
nights: "protect us by thy precious veil", and spoke about the history
of the Theotokos protecting the faithful over the centuries.
Providentially, the winds have been calmer, temperatures slightly lower,
even cloud cover most of today...enabling those fighting the fire to
make significant progress.
In town today, many persons allowed to
return home in some of the outlying evac. areas... though many remain
displaced, and of those some will certainly be displaced for weeks and
months to come. As with any tragedy, the human spirit, instilled in us
virtue of God's divine imprint which remains in humanity, begins to
shine...and the community is committed to helping one another and
rebuilding lives together. "Worst fire in Colorado history", says the
headlines, in terms of homes damaged and costs associated.
strange atmosphere, as in one part of town it is the closest thing to
Armageddon taking place in our very midst, visible from near any vantage
point in town; yet "life goes on...." movies, kids playing at the
Had 12 families displaced...2 from the very worst of
the burn areas. NO ONE of the parish lost their homes: even when houses
next door and behind them are literally "gone". Still, even their homes
may be so severely smoke damaged as to be deemed uninhabitable. Still
far too early for those folks to go back to their homes and actually get
an assessment. Folks have only this evening been informed of the status
of their homes. In addition, two persons reside at a nursing care
facility near the fire that had to be completely evacuated, one of which
was Mother Seraphima of Holy Protection Monastery.
One of our
members is a forest service fire fighter, and is directly engaged in
the continued fight....despite all the good news of today, still only
Agia Sophia was one block away from mandatory
evacuation on the south side of the fire. Holy Theophany 1/2 mile away
from the mandatory evac. zone...neither place ever was directly in
danger.... It is interesting to be a "small business owner" via Agia
Sophia, as you get the perspective of lost revenue due to the fire on
businesses... particularly small, family owned business who are
extremely dependent on daily sales, etc. Agia Sophia has had a tough
week, for example... as no one wished to travel to that side of town,
getting closer to the fire areas.
We will gather in the morning,
pray, partake of the Holy Mysteries on the feast of the Holy Apostles,
and give thanks to God for His mercy on us, and on this community.
Many thanks to all who offered prayer and support! We thank God for you all!