Friends save home in the middle of fire

Tad Houpt, left, and Sam Palmer have been business partners and best friends for a long time. Last week, Palmer helped save Houpt's home from the Canyon Creek Complex fire.

Sam Palmer, of Seneca, who lost three houses in the Canyon Creek Complex, helped to save his best friend’s home.

The deck of Tad Houpt’s home, a half-mile up the canyon near Canyon City, had caught on fire.

Palmer and a friend headed up to Houpt’s home.

“We used buckets at first then got a generator going and used a garden hose to pump water out of a pond,” Palmer said. “We were in the middle of it — there was a lot of wind, heat, ash and fire.”

He said at one point it felt the winds were blowing nearly 100 mph.

We kept at it until we got it,” Palmer said.

Meanwhile, Houpt, who has a broken leg, had headed away from the fire.

He tried to flag his friend down when he passed them, then turned around when they didn’t stop.

“I got to the bridge (to my house), and there was no way to get across,” Houpt said.

He says he’s glad they saved his house, “but I’m really glad that they made it.”

“Sam’s been my best friend since we were 3 or 4 years old,” he said. “As much as the house is worth, nothing is better than that.”

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