Yarnell residents return to see mark blaze left on town
At least 114 homes and structures were lost in the Yarnell Hill Fire. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Yarnell residents return to see what's still standing. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Our news helicopter was over the scene Monday morning. (Source: CBS 5 News)
YARNELL, AZ (CBS5) -
Jenifer Hurtado didn't get much rest Sunday night thinking about the destruction beyond the checkpoint on Highway 89 outside Yarnell.
It's been more than a week since fire forced the people who live in the town to flee.
"I was scared to death, I was so anxious," said Hurtado.
At 9:15 a.m. Monday the nightmare she's lived for the past week was over.
"My street looks fine," Hurtado said. "My favorite cat is there. I am so relieved and blessed to have my life and my home and my pet and my neighbors."
A steady flow of people passed through the Mountain Aire Mart in Peeples Valley to stock up on supplies.
Steven Darak was eager to talk to CBS 5 News about what he described as a miracle.
"It seemed the fire had burned up to about a hundred yards from my home and stopped," said Darak.
Not everyones story had a happy ending. Viney and Cliff Fredrick spent four years building their dream home. In January, they left Colorado to retire in Glen Isla. Now everything they've worked their entire lives for sits in a pile of ashes.
"It almost seems like a dream," said Viney Fredrick. "You wake up the next day like it's not going to be there. And it just hits you like a ton of bricks."
Overwhelmed with despair, the Fredricks never stopped thinking about the people who had it worse.
"Every time we think about the loss of our beautiful new home we think about the loss of the families who lost the 19 firefighters and the pain dissipates and we pray for them," said Viney Fredrick.
Forest officials say the lightning-caused wildfire is 90 percent contained. It has burned roughly 8,377 acres.
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