Turu Marx-Eurich owns a restaurant in Manitou Springs near Waldo Canyon, where a giant wildfire began and has now burned more than 350 homes.
MANITOU SPRINGS, CO (CBS5) -
A cold, stark reality began to set in Thursday for residents living amid the flames of a torrid wildfire near Colorado Springs, CO.
It was reflected in the faces of distraught people leaving a meeting in Manitou Springs, CO, where many of them learned their homes were among the more than 350 that have been destroyed.
"We already had a pretty good idea that it had been destroyed," said Bryan Largent.
"We did but, it's always something else seeing it printed on a piece of paper," said his wife Rebekah. "There's always that little tiny, 'Maybe we're wrong, maybe were mistaken,' but no, our address was on there."
The Largents will not be allowed into their neighborhood for the time being.
In fact, a lot of evacuated communities remain empty, and many other residents are uncertain whether they will be forced to leave the path of the Waldo Canyon Fire.
But when this fire started six days ago, just a mile or so from Manitou Springs, residents thought their community would be destroyed.
"It was a great day, and then we started seeing smoke over the mountain," recalled Turu Marx-Eurich of Manitou Springs.
The eclectic mountain community, where deer and bear roam freely, was the first to sense danger.
"The town just emptied out with fear," said Marx-Eurich, who owns a restaurant in Manitou Springs. "It's been really frightening."
But strong winds drove the flames north and away from Manitou Springs.
And just like that, the town was spared.
"It's shocking (that) the town is still here," Marx-Eurich said.
A sense of relief enveloped the community, but so did a lingering uncertainty.
"It's a fear of what's going to happen to our business, what's going to happen to our friends," Marx-Eurich said.
Other communities have not been so lucky.
And many people still have no idea what's left of their homes and their town.
"It's a very frightening time - even if your town is intact."
Firefighters had been able to hold that northern fire line through Thursday night, a very good sign, they said.
Officially, the fire is 10 percent contained.
President Barack Obama was scheduled to visit the area Friday.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5(Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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