Samaritan's Purse Arrives in Colorado Springs to Help Fire Victims

Thursday, 20 Jun 2013 09:09 PM

By Paul Scicchitano

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As Colorado fire officials announced on Wednesday that the devastating Black Forest fire has been 100 percent contained, Samaritan's Purse — the Rev. Franklin Graham’s emergency relief organization — has arrived to help with the recovery.

KAUSA-TV reported that investigators have ruled out natural causes for the blaze, which has destroyed at least 509 homes and charred more than 22 square miles.

Disaster relief teams from the North Carolina-based Christian relief organization arrived in Colorado Springs, Colo., where the devastating Black Forest fire ripped through more than 14,000 acres, destroyed nearly 500 homes and tragically claimed two lives, according to organization officials.

Since setting up its Disaster Relief Unit earlier on Wednesday at a local church, Samaritan’s Purse has already received requests for help from 190 homeowners.

"The fire has taken a terrible toll on people in Colorado Springs," said Samaritan's Purse President Franklin Graham. "We will have teams of volunteers working with the homeowners to salvage anything the flames left behind and to not only help them recover physically, but to show them that God loves them."

Some homeowners are just now returning to their neighborhoods, according to the organization, whose disaster experts were shown the burn area on Tuesday before meeting with emergency management officials to discuss the parameters for helping fire victims.

“The teams will sift through the ashes and debris to recover sentimental items belonging to the fire victims,” according to Samaritan’s Purse, officials.

Last year, Samaritan's Purse disaster relief teams also helped homeowners in Colorado as well as neighboring New Mexico after wildfires destroyed hundreds of homes in those two states.

“The Samaritan's Purse teams will be working alongside crisis-trained chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Rapid Response Team, who will minister to the victim,” Samaritan’s Purse, officials said.

The Samaritan's Purse Disaster Relief Unit is working out of Mountain Spring Church, which is about two miles from the burned communities. A tractor-trailer is serving as a command center for the Samaritan's Purse response and is fully stocked with equipment that volunteers will use to help homeowners.

Homeowners needing help can visit the Disaster Relief Unit or call 719-623-2750. To volunteer with Samaritan's Purse, go to Donations to help victims can be made at

Samaritan's Purse officials say the organization has helped more than 27,000 families in 31 U.S. states following fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and ice storms.

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