In the aftermath of the most destructive wildfire in Colorado's history, authorities identified a husband and wife who were killed in the fire as they were trying to escape.
Authorities said on Tuesday that the two, Marc and Robin Herklotz, are the lone casualties in the Black Forest fire, which has scorched more than 22 square miles and destroyed more than 500 homes. Their bodies were found in their garage by their car, as if they were trying to flee, according to The Denver Post.
Bob Schmidt, who lived on the same street as the Herklotzes, told The Associated Press that as he and his wife were evacuating the area on June 11, he saw the couple sitting on their porch watching television, and that they did not appear to be panicking.
"They said they'd leave when they needed to," he said.
Although Marc Herklotz, 52, and Robin Herklotz, 50, told their neighbors they had not received an evacuation call from authorities, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said someone from the county had spoken to the couple on the phone at about 5 p.m. that day, according to The Associated Press.
Their home is just outside the mandatory evacuation boundary announced on Twitter by the El Paso County officials that afternoon, and was expected to include their street later that evening, according to the AP.
Authorities said on Tuesday that identifying the bodies was difficult because the fire burned for several days in that area at about 2,500 degrees, and that investigators have learned little about the circumstances of the couple's deaths.
"The coroner had very little in the way of remains to work with," Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Jeff Kramer told The Denver Post.
Marc and Robin Herklotz were both longtime members of Air Force Space Command at Schriever Air Force Base, according to a statement from the Air Force. The two supported critical air, space and cyberspace operational missions, the statement said.
"The men and women of Air Force Space Command are saddened by the loss of these two members of our AFSPC family," said Gen. William L. Shelton, AFSPC Commander, in the statement. "I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Marc and Robin during this very difficult time."
Though the fire was 85 percent contained as of Tuesday, some 2,600 people remain displaced, down from about 38,000 last week, Reuters reported.
Maketa told the Associated Press earlier this week that although authorities have not yet determined the cause of the fires, they are "zeroing in" on a place of origin.
In a call made to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, President Obama expressed his condolences for those affected by the fires, as well as his "gratitude and appreciation for the brave men and women fighting tirelessly to combat" the fires, according to a White House press release.
President Obama told the governor that more than 1,000 personnel are responding, and that the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Defense will contribute resources to continue to battle the fires.