BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — For the first time in more than a week, the Lincolns and the Cofields, a blended family of seven, sat down to eat a homemade dinner at a home in Louisville. It's not their home, but the woman who owns it is in Florida and is letting them use it for now.
“It’s just hard because where is normal where is home," said Ruth Lincoln. "You know that part of of it I think is what I miss and I imagine the kids miss it too."
Their home was burned to the ground by the Marshall Fire, leaving two adults and five kids, ages 10-18, with nothing.
"Hindsight I wished I would have thought about documents and things like that, but I really thought we were coming back home," said Lincoln.
But the Marshall Fire didn't quite take everything.
"I’m telling you the couch knew that it was going down that day," she said.
The infamous couch.
"It was just a good couch, and it was comfortable," said 14-year-old Ethan Lincoln.
But good is relative in this family, and they tried to give it away.
“It got you through half the movie and then you’re like I don’t know if I like you anymore that’s what it was," said Ruth.
Ruth's husband, Jim, tried putting out a "for free" sign with it on the curb to no avail.
Ruth posted it on Facebook, also for free, with no takers.
And on the morning before their home burned, they loaded it up on a trailer.
"I get to Goodwill and I won’t say the actual words but he told me it was a piece of something," said Jim.
"Then he tried to take it to the dump, and they said it was $150," said Rachel Cofield, Ruth's 10-year-old daughter.
So the couch stayed on the trailer, and when the Marshall Fire came, the family set out for blue skies for what they thought would be just a few hours.
Hours turned to overnight, and by then, their home was gone, but not the couch.
“I mean we could have got rid of it pretty easy if we just left it in the house," said Josh Lincoln, Ruth's 17-year-old son. "I’m gonna be honest."
But the couch had another idea.
”So this is the photo we took with all our family," said Ruth, holding up a photo of them on the couch in front of the burned-down home.
In that photo, they found meaning in an unlikely place.
"When you’re in this place where you have nothing left you really have nothing to look back at either," said Ruth. "You really have to take those steps forward. And that was kind of what this symbolized for us is our last photo at our home moving forward with a couch that just didn’t want to leave us. I mean for whatever reason."
"It's a haunted couch," said Ethan, smiling.
Haunted or a piece of hope, life's belongings look different now.
“You know what I think this is one of the best photos I think we can have," said Ruth.
The person who took the picture lives across the street in a home that wasn't touched by the fire. It turns out they needed a couch and asked to keep it.
The Lincolns and Cofields are still looking for a rentable place that fits their entire family. They have a GoFundMe to help with costs that insurance and other assistance might not cover.
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