BOUNTIFUL, Utah — Homeowners closest to the Gun Range Fire worked side-by-side with firefighters to protect houses.
For much of the day, fire suppression drops were made from the sky — but the real battle was fought on the ground.
“It was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen,” Rochelle Fracer said of the wildfire that destroyed three homes early Friday morning.
Some homeowners, who were ordered to evacuate, held back despite the flames.
“There was a whole wall [of fire] just going right across, right here and about 30 to 40 feet high. It was just solid. It was just coming this direction,” Clair Asay said from his backyard.
Asay ran hoses alongside the firefighters while his home was just feet away from the flames.
“Embers were all floating in the air, we were really concerned about that,” Jim Walton said.
Down further on Northridge Drive, Walton was doing the same thing.
“The [firefighter] said, ‘Hey, can you help us get up here?’ We got these 5-inch lines, they were charged, and got them all the way up the hill and they started putting it out,” Walton said.
His neighbor wasn’t so lucky. A back bedroom and bathroom received damage, as well as the roof. Firefighters hustled before it was destroyed completely.
“You could just feel the heat,” Asay said.
When the flames got too close, the homeowners were finally told to leave.
“My first thought was, we’re done. It’s over,” Asay said.
Thanks to the tireless work of the firefighters overnight, Asay and dozens of others still have homes.
“We were just very very lucky,” Asay said. “Very fortunate.”