Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020

Couple hid from wildfire in bunker – 'only to be killed by the 1300f heat'

An elderly couple tried to shelter from a raging fire in a cement bunker at their beloved home – only to be killed by the blaze’s 1300f (704c) heat, their relatives say. Lyle Hileman, 85, and his 84 year-old wife Marilyn died in the East Troublesome Fire after it swept over their stunning property in Grand County, Colorado, on Wednesday.

Sharing the grim news of the couple’s death, their grandkids said: ‘No official confirmation until fire crews are able to dig into the bunker, but we’re pretty sure they passed away early last night.

‘The cement bunker may have kept them safe from the house collapsing and the flames, but not the 1300 degree heat.

‘We’re deeply saddened by the loss of our grandparents, but comforted by the thought that at least they died together, just as they had wanted.’

Another grandchild shared a photo of the Hilemans’ beautiful lakeside home, named ‘the Big Yellow House,’ and said it had been totally destroyed by the blaze.

Lyle – a retired firefighter – and his wife are said to have adored the tranquil property, KDVR reported.

One of their grieving relatives, who goes by the name Taebear on Twitter, also paid tribute to their grandparents, writing: ‘In loving memory, Lyle and Marylin Hileman.

‘Your family loves you and misses you, and will go forward with the love, dedication, kindness, and strength you taught to us.

‘They lived long, wonderful lives, full of joy. And they went together, peacefully, content with their choice to stay in their home. They never wanted to live a day apart. Going together is what they wanted.’

Taebear said the family now plans to rebuild the Big Yellow House in memory of their lost loved ones.

Colorado is currently being raved by five huge wildfires, with the East Troublesome Fire that killed the Hilemans estimated to have destroyed 19,000 acres of land, according to the Denver Post.

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