Morgantown woman raises more than $55,000 for family affected by Colorado wildfire

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 5:52 PM EST
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - As people in Colorado work to rebuild their lives following the devastating fire there last month, Elise Soto from Morgantown is doing her part to help.

Soto says she’s a lifelong Morgantown resident, but she has relatives in Colorado.

“My mom and I were actually together coming from Pittsburgh, we were visiting my grandparents, my uncle called to tell me we were okay and safe but we didn’t know about the fire yet,” said Soto.

She watched as hurricane-force winds gusted up to 105 mph, stoking the Marshall fire’s flames across three cities just before Christmas. Nearly 1,000 homes burned.

“We started looking up the news and started watching local news channels just to kind of keep up with what was going on”

Soto’s aunt, uncle, and two cousins experienced the devastating loss of their entire home and possessions after the Marshall Fire moved through boulder county on December 30.

That’s when Soto decided to lend a helping hand.

“I thought about it the following day which would have been new years eve but I hadn’t said that out loud and so I was talking to my aunt and she said her sister had mentioned it and so I said ' okay yeah we need to do this’ and so I offered to get it set up,” said Soto.

Donations were flooding in and now has upwards of $55,000.

“And it grew so much quicker than we even could’ve imagined...It was really emotional too all those to see all those names popping up we couldn’t be more humbled by all the support not only by the GoFundMe but by them messages and people reaching out”

People she hadn’t seen in years helping out.

“Seeing names pop up from old neighbors and classmates and friends from the area so that’s been really great to see as well knowing that no matter how long you’ve lived in West Virginia people still want to support you”

Soto says right now her family has friends she is staying with now. She adds that state of Colorado will help them take shelter in temporary housing until they can find a permanent home.

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