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Saddle company evacuated, returns safely

Published June 18, 2013

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (BRAIN) — Forest fires in Colorado are closer to being under control, but the fires created a very busy — and nerve wracking — week for one industry supplier in Colorado Springs.

Koobi, a small saddle brand, has headquarters in northern Colorado Springs, close to the Black Forest fire that broke out last Tuesday. By Wednesday, the fire was within 2 1/2 miles of the facility and the company was put on evacuation alert. Employees spent the day moving much of its inventory to an off-site warehouse. The next day, when Koobi was ordered to evacuate, they were able to load computers, phones and paperwork into vehicles and vacate within an hour of the notice.

On Saturday, the company was given permission to return to the building. Employees spent the next three days restoring the facility and was functioning at 100 percent on Monday.

"We would like to express gratitude to all of the emergency response personnel that worked tirelessly to control this fire and our condolences to all those who lost homes or loved ones to the fires.  Our hearts and prayers go out to you during this difficult time," the company's Phil Schweizer said in a statement Monday.

Officials announced Monday that the Black Forest fire was 75 percent contained after burning more than 15,000 acres, causing two deaths and the loss of more than 500 homes. Another fire near Canon City, the Royal Gorge Fire, was 100 percent contained by Saturday after burning 3,100 acres. That fire forced the re-routing of the Ride the Rockies bike tour last Friday. 


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