Grand County sheriff confirms two deaths in East Troublesome Fire |

Grand County sheriff confirms two deaths in East Troublesome Fire

Lyle and Marilyn Hileman, shown in this photo posted by their family on Twitter, died together in their home just outside Grand Lake when the East Troublesome Fire burned over 100,000 acres on Wednesday.
Twitter image

Refusing to leave the home they loved, Lyle and Marilyn Hileman died together inside when the East Troublesome Fire blew up on Wednesday.  

Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin had previously declined to release information about the Hilemans.

Friday night, he said in a Facebook video that sheriff’s office personnel and the Grand County coroner recovered two bodies from the couple’s home on County Road 491, just north of Grand Lake, earlier in the day.

“Over the past couple days, I’ve worked with the Hileman family while they waited for the answers they really didn’t want to hear but they knew were a reality,” Schroetlin said.

Emergency responders tried to rescue the couple after receiving reports they were trapped in the basement with the fire bearing down on them, the sheriff continued, but emergency crews were met with a fire front that forced them out of the area.

Also, the couple didn’t want to evacuate the home they had lived in for years, he said.  

After confirming the couple died in the fire, Schroetlin read a statement from the family. Schroetlin said that a family friend and safety officials even drove through roadblocks to try to save the Hilemans, but the couple still refused to leave.

“At 86 and 84 years of age, their only desire was to be together at home they loved,” the family’s statement read.

In the statement, the family described the Hilemans’ last phone call to their son. Before the call ended, Marilyn Hileman told her son they smelled smoke.

“It would be late Thursday before confirmation would come that the house was destroyed, but our family feels comfort in the knowledge our parents left this world together and on their own terms,” the statement said.

Schroetlin said there are no other missing persons on file in connection to the East Troublesome Fire.

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