After Marshall Fire, West students reflect on their own possessions

Xavier Michnewicz, Staff Writer

The Marshall and Middle Fork fires were tragic events Colorado history that caused millions of dollars of damage and displaced thousands of people. A natural question to ask after a tragedy like that is “What if it was me?”  Students around Greeley West pondered the question of what they would do if they had an hour to leave their house if they were involved in the fire and their ideas were as device as the student body.

Junior Mario Ontiveros immediately thought about his most valuable possession.  “I would take my Pokemon card collection because I have 3000 dollars worth of cards in my collection,” Ontiveros said.

Ontiverso said an hours notice would more than enough time. “In an hour, I feel I really wouldn’t be flustered and I would be able to take most of the house out. The first thing would be to get my clothes and anything that is important and priceless, like birth certificates,” Ontiveros added. 

Tragedies like the Marshall fire bring thoughts into mind that families should have an evacuation plan that they can execute at a moment’s notice. 

Science teacher Mr. Tristen Vangilder said, “If I had an hour, I would pack up my TV and video game consoles and pack them in the car. Then I would focus on getting any important documents that will be impossible to replace. If I had time my last few things I would pack are a few weeks worth of clothes and snowboarding equipment.”

For sophomore Aubrie Ebertowski, family would come first – starting with her dog and heirlooms.  “What I would take if I was involved in the fires is my dogs, my cell phones and my laptop. Also some precious family jewelry that is irreplaceable. I would take birth certificates but all of them are lost from flooding,” Ebertowski said. 

Electronics and pets were also important to sophomore Elijah Tellez who said, “I would probably take my Playstation; my dogs, my cats and – if I had time – my lizard.” 

Tellez said he’d leave the important documents to his parents:  “I don’t have any of that,” Tellez said.  “But photos I have on my phone and my parents’ phones.” 

The Marshall fire, which started December 31st, 2021, burned 6,000 acres and destroyed a reported 1,084 homes. This fire is going to be the costliest in Colorado history with the initial estimate coming in at 513 million in damages. Students can support the victims of the Marshall Fire through the Red Cross of Colorado and various Go Fund Me campaigns.