DeSanto family works to sift through the ashes


CREEDE — On Oct. 6, in the early afternoon the lives of two Creede residents changed forever. A fire located at the home of Mark and Colleen DeSanto broke out near their woodpile and swiftly ravaged the garage and then the house in a matter of hours. The Mineral County Fire Department and law enforcement officials were on the scene in moments, but the house and all of their belongings were already reduced to ash.

According to Mark DeSanto, high winds on that day were the reason the house was a total loss. The exact reason that started the fire is still under investigation and so the DeSantos move forward and begin to sift through the ashes of their first home in Creede.

The DeSantos came to Creede for several years as a vacation destination from their home state of Michigan before deciding to build in the area six years ago.

“We have had an outpouring of support from the community that was beyond our wildest dreams and we want to thank Creede from the bottom of our hearts,” said the DeSantos.

On the Saturday following the fire after receiving the go-ahead from fire officials, the two gathered at the site of the fire to begin sifting through the ashes and preparing the location for demolition, in order to clear the space for them to rebuild. Community members and friends showed up with ladders, buckets and tools to help with the cleanup process, to which the DeSantos were once again amazed with how the community pulled together to help in their time of need.

“Building here was the best decision we ever made,” said Mark. Now, it is only a matter of waiting on the insurance and demolition process before they plan to move forward with their second home.

On the day of the fire, both Mark and Colleen suffered burns on their bodies, with Mark receiving the most severe burns on his hands and cheeks. The DeSantos both reported that their burns are healing quickly and they plan on being back to 100 percent soon.

Everything in the home was a total loss due to the extreme heat of the fire and high winds that raged through the structure. Fire officials are still investigating the exact cause of the fire, narrowing down that it started somewhere near the woodpile located behind the garage.

A dinner is scheduled to help raise funding for the rebuilding of the DeSantos’ home on Nov. 20 at the Creede Community Center at 6 p.m. There will be food provided by Arp’s and Rick Inman with a cash bar and music provided by Courtney La Zier.