It was an emotional moment after Fawn Smullin and Russell King learned that they had no home to come back to.
“I really don’t know what else to say about this. We’ve lost everything,” King said. “It’s absolutely heart-wrenching.”
The couple said that they were building a home by hand in the mountains above the town of Bly.
“All of that hard work was gone,” Smullin said. “Everything we did to beautify the place, to bring in animals, to make it livable, it’s all gone and there’s no recovery for it.”
The couple evacuated their home last Wednesday night and documented their terrifying flee to safety. King said, “Probably the scariest moment I’ve ever had in my life.”
Smullin said, “I never knew fire could be so loud and so quiet at the exact same time. It got so loud in the fire sometimes that you literally could not hear anything. It was completely quiet because it was so loud.”
The couple made it out and was eventually able to stop for a moment when the flames were far behind. Smullin explained, “That’s when everybody fell apart. There was no holding back anymore because we knew it was all gone.”
Unfortunately, they were right. Saturday, they got to return home only to find everything destroyed in the Bootleg Fire. “Our soul just got kind of burned down,” Smullin said.
The couple said they don’t plan to rebuild here and are taking the fires in Southern Oregon as a sign to leave. King said, “We’re looking at going to Arkansas. I have a lot of family back there who want me to come back home, and that’s what we’re leaning to.”