Rookie Firefighter Sees Own House Burn as She Protects Town

Firefighter Emily Franklin watched her childhood home burn down.

June 28, 2012, 4:40 PM

ESTES PARK, Colo. June 28, 2012— -- Rookie firefighter Emily Franklin battled her first blaze this week and among the casualties was her own house.

The fire, one of several wildfires plaguing Colorado, turned her childhood home into cinders and reduced her car to a metal skeleton in the driveway.

"This is my first fire and it was my own home," Franklin, 18, told ABC News."Great way to kick off a career."

Franklin actually watched her own house going up in smoke while working with her colleagues to help save the town from the fire.

The rookie firefighter sprang into action while home and seeing flames spread from house to house in her Estes Park neighborhood, incinerating trees in its wake. She raced around with her garden hose, shouting for neighbors to get out of their houses and turn their hoses on.

Once firefighters arrived, she drove down to the command center with her gear and took assignments dowsing other flames.

"I look through the trees and see fire going under our deck, and I was like, 'I think that's my house,'" She said. "It goes up, and I was like, 'That's my house!"

Still, she kept working, and spent the rest of the day directing traffic and taking other assignments.

The Estes Park fire is one of several wildfires that raging in Colorado. The largest, the Waldo Canyon fire, has destroyed hundreds of home and scorched 18,500 acres despite the efforts of more than 1,000 firefighters trying to bring it under control.

Nevertheless, Franklin said she's lucky no one in her family was hurt.

"I guess anything can happen in a matter of 10 minutes," she said. "Getting out was the most important thing, so that's what we did."

She described the firefighters' work as "truly amazing."

"I think without firefighters, the entire town of Estes would be gone," she said.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events