Family Loses Two Homes to Lolo Fire - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Family Loses Two Homes to Lolo Fire

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LOLO - A pile of charred rubble is all that's left of the house Jack Cooper built by hand thirty years ago up Highway 12.

On Monday, extreme fire conditions pushed the West Fork Two fire down the ridge toward the Coopers' property, eventually burning two of the three homes on their property to the ground.

Shari and Gordon Cooper's home was left standing, but one home they rented out and a trailer where Cordon's mother lived, were completely destroyed.

"By the time we got my mother-in-law in the truck, and the animals and a few personal belongings, the fire was already within 10 acres of us," Shari Cooper said of their quick evacuation.

The Coopers' say the fire came so quickly they never even were told to evacuate, but decided to leave after speaking with neighbors.

Shari says the hardest things to lose are irreplaceable keepsakes of her 84-year-old mother-in-law who doesn't fully comprehend what happened to her home.

"She kept asking the questions, 'Well, when are we going to go home? What do you mean? I have a house.' And I said 'No, you don't have a house. ' Even today, after she got to look at everything, she still wanted to know when she was going to go home," Shari said.

Dorothy Cooper is beginning to suffer from dementia and didn't have time to even grab extra clothes, but Shari says friends immediately came to help.

"My friend went shopping for her at Target yesterday, got her some clothes, got her a gift card and dropped it off at my moms in Missoula, my friend is also now under pre-evacuation. She knew the fire was coming in her direction and she still took the time to go out and do something for somebody else."

Shari says if she could go back to save one thing, it would be tokens of Dorothy's memories.

"Like I told my husband, our stuff is just stuff. We have enough time to have memories of ours, she doesn't have that much time and her memories are gone."

Now, Gordon, Shari and Dorothy Cooper are staying with family in Florence and Missoula.

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