Ridges couple comes home to find it aflame

After a nice dinner at Texas Roadhouse Saturday night, Dave and Velda Havens rounded a corner on Hidden Valley Drive at about 8 and headed up the hill to their home. Which was on fire.

“That’s just your worst nightmare,” Dave Havens said. “This is our dream home.”

Flames were crawling up the siding of their two-story home at 2423 Hidden Valley Drive; they’d even seen the smoke as they headed into The Ridges, “but never for a second thought it would be ours,” Velda Havens said.

Multiple neighbors had called 911. Stephanie Spruille and Michael Sobczynski rushed over to pound on the doors and windows, unsure if the Havens were home because there was a car in the driveway.

When the Havenses pulled up, Dave Havens sprang from the car and ran to a large back window. Their cats, Casey and Molly, were inside. Havens asked Sobczynski to give him a boost “and I said, ‘No way, you’re not going in there’,” Sobczynski recalled. “But then he told me he had to get the cats, and we have three cats, so I said, ‘OK, you’ve got three minutes.’ “

Havens could only find Casey, who was huddled under a bed, and handed the frightened cat out the window to Sobczynski.

Later, after Grand Junction Fire Department personnel had contained the fire — whose cause is still unknown — to the front quarter of the house and were spraying it with foam, a firefighter came out of the house carrying the white, long-haired Molly. Spruille hurried home to get another cat carrier while the Havens hugged their girl.

Firefighters offered them water and made arrangements with the Red Cross while neighbors made calls to get the house secured for the night.

“I can’t get my mind around this,” Velda Havens said, surveying the black curls of siding peeling from under the eaves at the front of the house. “(Firefighters) said there’s smoke damage and water damage, but it’s not bad at the back of the house.”

“The things that are important are safe,” Dave Havens added. “We have insurance and this is our dream house, so we won’t give up on it. We’re just so grateful that it’s not as bad as it could have been and that everyone’s been so kind. We have wonderful neighbors.”


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