They close doors and windows left open by fleeing evacuees. They move flammable materials away from Chubb-insured homes — patio furniture, shrubs, even pine needles collected in gutters — that can ignite. They also use inflatable water tanks to feed sprinkler systems to wet down the house and surrounding area.
The crews also carry 5-gallon tubs of a fire retardant gel that when mixed with water can coat a house with a thin wet layer to keep flying embers from igniting the house.
It's a last ditch effort to protect homes that Morris' crew had to employ three times before they evacuated the Cedar Heights neighborhood for their safety.
The crews focus their efforts on insured homes that are facing the greatest threat from the wildfire without regard for the home's value, Fuhriman said.
Chubb, Wildland or Morris would not take credit for all of Chubb's insured homes surviving the blaze. They point instead to the effort of more than 1,500 firefighters.
In some instances, only one or two home survived on a street while the rest burned to the foundation. That can be attributed to the random nature of fire, which left some homes in a smoldering heap while sparing trees and shrubs, even mail inside a mailbox.
In other instances, homes survived because it's where public firefighters were able to safely defend the home, Colorado Springs Fire Chief Rich Brown said.
"Having your home burn to the ground is devastating," said Bill Simmons, whose home survived and who does not have an insurance policy offering individual home protection. "I hope everybody would appreciate any help that you have."