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From The Ashes: For fire survivors who lost everything, salvaged keepsakes are a link to the past

When the Marshall Fire ripped through Boulder County at the end of last year, many fire victims took almost nothing with them that day but did return to sift through the debris in the months that followed.

From The Ashes, a KUNC series produced in collaboration with Eli Imadali and The Boulder Reporting Lab, features the stories of three fire survivors who recovered a small variety of treasures from the rubble. After losing everything, these objects connect the families to memories of their past lives, a process which has been painful for some, and necessary for others.

To read the full story, please visit From The Ashes, by The Boulder Reporting Lab.


Jill Sellars

Listen to Part 1 of From The Ashes
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Eli Imadali
/
Boulder Reporting Lab
Jill Sellars shows her mother’s old tea cup and saucer at her Superior, Colorado home on Tuesday, March 22, 2022.

“I always helped mom set the table, so we always had to set them in certain ways with one of the leaves going the certain way. So it was just always something, you know, when important things happened in our lives, the china came out.”

Zula & Kaz Jaszczak

Recovered a decorative tile, a gift from Zula to her father years ago

Listen to Part 2 of From The Ashes
imadali-marshall-fire-jaszczak19.JPG
Eli Imadali
/
Boulder Reporting Lab
Kazimierz Jaszczak shows a Portuguese tile that his daughter, Zuzanna, recovered while sifting through the ashes of his burnt down Superior home.

“We're in this situation that she's far away from me. And this little piece always reminds me that she's somewhere. And not only that she's somewhere, but she's somewhere for me. So, this little piece, which is very valuable for me every day.”

Melissa Lockman


Recovered a pile of charred papers from her basement

Listen to Part 3 of From The Ashes
imadali-marshall-fire-lockman21.JPG
Eli Imadali
/
Boulder Reporting Lab
A baby tag from when Melissa Lockman’s daughter, Zora, was born and still unnamed sits in a pile of charred papers recovered from the ashes of their burnt down Louisville home.

“Those are the medical notes from her (daughter’s) birth, which was epic. It was worth documenting… (Having these objects) helps me to kind of just make sense of the loss. It helps me to like, OK, now they were this and now they're something different. And that's OK.”

To read the full story, please visit From The Ashes, by The Boulder Reporting Lab.

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