Crown King marks 1 year since Gladiator Fire

CROWN KING, AZ - Monday marks one year since the Gladiator Fire threatened to wipe out a town north of the Valley.

The fire sparked on May 13 and burned more than 16,000 acres.

Six buildings were burned, including some family homes. Damage was estimated at $14 million.

The fire was especially tough on the town of Crown King. And so was the flooding that followed.

Today Crown King marked their recovery by holding a Gladiator Fire and Rain Festival.

But a year ago Aimee Flores and her husband weren't expecting life to throw so many obstacles their way.

"It was raining hot embers just like a volcano all over our neighborhood," Aimee said.

Firefighters began a two-week battle to get the fire under control.

But then came the floods, hurting the livelihood of everyone who lives in the Crown King community.

And while time has allowed new growth to heal the once-charred earth, people in the Crown King community have faith their fresh start is just around the corner.

The town is holding an art and wine festival next Saturday and the chamber of commerce has added more festivals this summer so more people will make the trip to Crown King.

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