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Man escapes wildfire, loses everything

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    LYONS, Ore. (KPTV) — Some fire victims are now returning to their homes for the first time. Many of them are returning to find nothing but ash and rubble.

Loren Christian narrowly escaped his home in Lyons.

“I was in my underwear and t-shirt, no shoes and I practically crawled all the way to that gate,” Christian said.

He said the Beachie Creek Fire engulfed his home so quick, he didn’t know if he was going to make it. He said he had to walk about a mile to get to the main road and try to get help.

“I stepped out in the middle of the road and stopped a service truck and he said whatever it is buddy I can’t help you. And I said all I need is ride to Lyons three miles away and he said I can’t help ya,” he said.

He said all he cared about was getting out.

“I jumped on the back of his service truck and I could hear him yelling at me,” he said.

Christian said he held on to the back of the truck and when he needed to jump off, he got the driver’s attention near his ex-wife’s house.

“I seen a big set of bolt cutters in the back and I had to reach in and bang the top of his roof to make him stop and he’s cussing me,” he said. “So, I barely made it to her house.”

On Tuesday, he returned for the first time to the place where his home once stood.

“I’ve been here 25 years and I built the porches, built the garages and all this was all brush. It was all blackberries and this was my bedroom and when I looked over all that was on fire,” he said.

He began sifting through the ash and the debris, trying to see if there was anything left.

“I had a lighter collection look at that zippo lighter collection I had about 25 of them,” he said.

Nothing but scorched pieces of furniture and twisted metal remain.

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