TODAY | July 02, 2012
>> were evacuated from a raging wildfire, got a chance to return to their property for the first time this weekend. nbc's miguel almaguer is in hard hit colorado springs . good morning, miguel .
>> good morning. after charring 18,000 acres, waldo cameron is the most destructive in colorado state history. in all 346 homes have been destroyed. in neighborhood after neighborhood, little is left standing. homes everywhere are decimated.
>> it was just so sad. we were so sad.
>> reporter: susan and her 16-year-old daughter hannah lost everything.
>> my friends and i were talking. she just listened to me. she said, i want to go home.
>> do you want to go home, too.
>> i'm leaving my house for probably the last time.
>> reporter: last tuesday thousands left the flames, a moving monster that swallowed home and home and took two years. dr. bolen lost his wife to cancer two years ago, now lost the photos.
>> no house, no place to call home.
>> reporter: thousands able to return for a few hours, the lucky ones found their house standing while others sifted through rubble. for susan, the loss is overwhelming. two years ago her daughter and son-in-law passed away. this week she told her son marine logan pierce, his childhood home is gone.
>> my son just sent me a text from afghanistan. he said, we still have our memories. my kids grew up there.
>> reporter: as families begin to rebuild their lives in colorado springs , this blaze is roughly 55% contained. meantime last night in south dakota , a c-130, one of those heavy air tankers did crash. three people were injured. tamron.
>> all right, miguel . so heartbreaking.