Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Fri, January 24 2014 at 12:59 PM, Updated: Fri, January 24 2014 at 1:10 PM
A husband and wife are being credited with saving the lives of 7 neighbors from a house fire early Thursday morning.
Sherry Dutton says she and her husband Kevin heard the explosion just after 3:30 Thursday morning...
"And it went 'KABOOM' - I mean, it shook our house."
Mrs. Dutton says she and her husband were shocked when they looked across the street to the home of Randy and Dawn Wagner.
"We saw their house, the garage, the truck, was engulfed in flames."
Kevin Dutton knocked for several minutes, braving growing flames as he tried to alert his neighbors.
"Dawn opened the front door." Recalled Mrs. Dutton. "And then he just yelled at them, 'Get out of the house! Your house is on fire! Get everyone out!"
Sarah Dutton helped with the neighbor's grandchildren...
"They were freaking out. I just got them blankets, and shoes, and brought them in the house, put a TV show on for little kids, and let them watch TV."
Investigators say the fire started in the Wagner's pickup truck, then spread to a garage. The fire also damaged a boat and a camp trailer.
Total damages are estimated at over 130 thousand dollars.
But Sherry Dutton is relieved that the 7 people in the Wagner home are all okay...
"I totally believe it's by the grace of God that we were awake."
And Sarah Dutton says she's proud of her Mom and Dad...
"Yes, I am."
It took about an hour for fire fighters to gain full control of the fire.
The Wagners are currently staying with friends and family.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.