In December 2021, when Stephen Wenzel called his extremely pregnant wife to tell her about the approaching wildfire that would later be known as the Marshall fire, she was sound sleeping and ignorant to the danger. The Marshall fire would ultimately be named after Stephen Wenzel’s son, Marshall. “When I got up and looked out the window, my neighbourhood was on fire,” recalled Savannah Wenzel, who is now 29 years old. Her battle with COVID-19 had rendered her unable to detect the odour of the grey and black cloud that had engulfed the backyard of the rented property they were occupying in the Sagamore neighbourhood of Louisville.
Wenzel’s bloated tummy caused her to lose her balance, and in her distress she grabbed the dog and the briefcase that belonged to her husband before falling all the way to the automobile. The Wenzels were stripped of the majority of their things and their rental home, but they were blessed with a daughter. They will join the ranks of other Marshall fire survivors who have filed a lawsuit against Xcel Energy, arguing that the power company is responsible for their financial losses, emotional suffering, and punitive damages. The lawsuit is scheduled to be filed this week.
Claire was born prematurely, nine days after the most catastrophic fire in the history of Colorado, and she still struggles with health-related issues, which, according to her parents, may be due to her mother’s smoke inhalation and stress-related high blood pressure. Claire was born nine days after the fire that holds the record for being the most destructive fire in Colorado history. “We’ve encountered challenge after struggle. Emotionally, this has been a really challenging experience. I’ve experienced certain health problems that are probably connected to it. “Things have been very challenging,” stated Savannah Wenzel.
The Marshall fire that started on December 30, 2021 spread across 6,080 acres and was responsible for the deaths of two people. 35 thousand people were forced to leave their homes, and thousands of animals, including people’s pets, were killed. On that particular day, there was a strong wind warning because the wind gusts in Boulder County reached more than 100 miles per hour. After an inquiry that lasted for eighteen months, the sheriff of Boulder County made the announcement on 8 June that the fire was caused by two separate ignitions: one that was lit by an unmoored Xcel Energy power line, and another that was triggered by embers from a garbage fire that had been burning for one week at the neighbouring Twelve Tribes property. A religious community known as Twelve Tribes may be found at 5325 Eldorado Springs Drive. Its members live together in a community environment.