Two escape Founders Village home fire

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Two women escaped injury when an early-morning fire erupted at a home in Founders Village.

Firefighters contained the fire within about 20 minutes, but the home was almost entirely destroyed.

Castle Rock Fire and Rescue received several reports of the fire at its onset around 4 a.m. on Jan. 21, said Fire Chief Art Morales.

Firefighters arrived to find the front of the home fully engulfed, with flames shooting about 40 feet in the air, he said.

The occupants of the home, two sisters in their mid-50s, escaped harm by exiting through the back door as soon as they realized the house was on fire. The women, who asked not to be identified, are the mother and aunt of homeowner Maritza Braswell.

Braswell and her husband purchased the house about two months ago as an investment property.

“As bad as this is, I'm just glad nobody got hurt,” Braswell said. “They came out with the clothes on their back.”

Braswell's mother was living in the house, hosting a visit from her sister, and the two had retired around midnight, Morales said. The sister was sleeping in the bedroom above the garage when she heard a “popping” noise and awoke the resident.

While investigating the noise, the pair found smoke in the hallway leading to the garage and blocking the front door. They exited through a sliding back door and, with the help of neighbors, climbed a fence to escape, Braswell said.

Their actions likely helped save their lives, Morales said.

“They did everything right,” Morales said. “They investigated, detected smoke, let us do the firefighting and they didn't try to go back into the house for any belongings or anything. As soon as they smelled smoke they got out of the house and called for help. That definitely contributed to their survival.”

Fire investigators confirmed the fire started in the garage. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Morales said.

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