Picking Up the Pieces: Saddle Mountain Fire

 

Auvil fruit company employees are picking up the pieces today after this weekends saddle mountain fire that destroyed 25-thousand acres, including the homes of two of the employees.

Auvil Fruit company employees are picking up the pieces today after this weekends Saddle Mountain Fire that destroyed 25,000 acres, including the homes of two of the employees.

"Pretty surprised I thought this would never happen around here," said Jason Rangel as he walks through what used to be his family's home. 

"The living room was right here..." Jason points to a pile of springs and metal that held up the home, "we had just gotten brand new couches too, and a tv," he adds.

His home destroyed in the Saddle Mountain Fire near Vantage.

"Since I wasn't here I wasn't able to get anything," Jason said as he looked at where his room used to be.

Jason was in Kennewick with friends this weekend when his parents told him the fire was nearing their home. He wasn't able to see his family for two days because they evacuated. The Rangels eventually recieved word about their home's fate from a neighbor that decided not to evacuate. It still took another two days for roads to open before the family could see what was left.

When the fire came barreling down the street, this family's animals took their natural instincts and got out of the way. They ran away for about two days before returning home.

"It's pretty crazy how they came back. Me and my parents thought they were gone but..I guess not they came back."

Three of the four chickens the family have survived and returned home after being able to escape their coop. The Rangels also have three German Shepards that made it back safely.

"They run out on themselves-- they get out-- they come back--they know the places."

Jason was confident the dogs would return, and even though he may not care much for the chickens--he likes to see that they are still around.

"I didn't really like them because they always try to bite me."

"you happy to see they are still around at least?" I asked, "yea..." he said with a smile.