Motel Fire Victims Facing Slow Recovery

~ by Trevor Phipps ~

TMJ News received several phone calls last week, contending that certain information regarding a recent fire that scorched the Cripple Creek Motel fire was not entirely accurate, especially pertaining to two victims.


Some reports maintained that the victims of the fire were treated and released for minor injuries.


According to Teller County resident Doug White, who is directly related to two of the fire victims, these accounts are not correct. According to White, his daughter, Samantha White, and his son-in-law, Josh Kurschinske, were in the room where the fire started and are still in the hospital suffering from injuries sustained in the Cripple Creek Motel fire. The two are currently in a burn center in Denver getting treated for major burns they sustained in the motel fire.


Samantha White suffered burns to 27 percent of her body while her husband  suffered burns to 29 percent of his body. The two are doing well but they will stay in the hospital for about four more weeks while they are treated for their burn injuries that were mostly on both of their arms.


According to Doug White, Samantha woke up at 3 a.m. the morning of the fire and smelled propane fumes. Samatha then awoke Josh to figure out where the propane smell was coming from. The two quickly learned that the smell was coming from a camping stove they were using to cook food inside their room. They opened up the door to the motel room and tried to get the room aired out.


Then suddenly, Samantha saw a spark and a fire started inside their room. Samantha received the majority of her injuries when she tried to rescue her husband, Josh, while he was on fire. Then according to Doug White, Samantha went from room to room pounding on the other motel room doors, attempting to alert everyone else who was in the building of the fire.


Doug White and other residents want the community to know how this incident has affected their family. The two victims face a long road to recovery, but are currently doing alright and are staying in touch with their family via Skype video chatting, according to White.