Ramah camp in the Rockies evacuated due to early morning fire


(JTA) — Camp Ramah in the Rockies was evacuated after a fire destroyed the building housing the camp kitchen, dining hall and administrative offices.

No one was hurt in the blaze at the Colorado Jewish camp, which started at 2 a.m. Monday and spread to some nearby trees. The camp’s executive director, Rabbi Eliav Bock, noted the damages in a message posted on Facebook.

Local firefighters quickly brought the fire under control, according to the newspaper. The cause has yet to be determined.

The campers and staff were relocated to a field far from the fire, where they played games and sang while under close supervision, according to the post. After sunrise, they boarded buses and drove under police escort from the camp near Bailey, Colorado to a synagogue in Denver, about 90 minutes away. Volunteers there provided them with food.

There were about 130 campers in the area when the fire broke out, the Denver Post reported.

“The immediate implementation of emergency protocols resulted in a calm and quick camp evacuation,” the statement said. “Camp leaders also retrieved Torah scrolls and other important items, and all animals were released to safe areas away from the fire.”

The JCC Ranch Camp in Elbert, Colorado, whose summer season ended this week, offered Ramah the use of their site for the remainder of the summer session, according to Ramah’s Facebook page. “We plan to relocate our entire camp community there by tomorrow evening,” the update said Monday evening. “We will be bringing our own kitchen staff, hospitality staff, and most importantly our own incredible program team and counselors, who are already busy coordinating with JCC Ranch Camp to plan activities such as archery, mountain biking, hiking, and sports.”
Money and passports belonging to campers and staff were stored in fireproof safes on the second floor of the building that burned down, but cell phones and other electronics were kept in a locked closet in the same building and were lost in the fire, the camp said.

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