Elderly Colorado wildfire victims died ‘in each other’s arms,’ family members say

"Their only desire was to be together in the home they loved," a family statement said

Authorities in Colorado made a grim discovery Friday afternoon when they found the bodies of an elderly couple whose home was consumed in a raging wildfire two days earlier.

The victims were identified as Lyle Hileman, 86, and his wife Marylin Hileman, 84, who chose not to evacuate the area following alerts from local officials, FOX 31 of Denver reported.

“They were found in each other’s arms,” one of the couple’s grandchildren wrote on Twitter.

“All offers to leave were refused,” family members wrote in a separate statement. “At 86 and 84 years of age, their only desire was to be together in the home they loved.”

The Hilemans, who lived near Grand Lake in Grand County, were casualties of the East Troublesome Fire, which as of Friday night had grown to cover 188,000 acres since Oct. 14, FOX 31 reported.

Smoke rises from mountain ridges as several wildfires burn in the state Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, as traffic moves along 75th street in Niwot, Colo. (Associated Press)

Smoke rises from mountain ridges as several wildfires burn in the state Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, as traffic moves along 75th street in Niwot, Colo. (Associated Press)

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It was ranked as the second-largest wildfire in Colorado history, behind only the Cameron Peak Fire, which was still burning as well, according to the station.