Bethel man saves daughter from fast-moving house fire

A burned-out home stands between two smaller buildings in a flat, snowy landscape
Earl Polk’s household dwelling. (Gabby Salgado/KYUK)

On Monday in Bethel, a hearth burned a household’s home close to H-Marker Lake. There have been no fatalities and solely minor accidents.

Earl Polk had simply completed lighting his wooden range and stacked a load of moist wooden near the range to dry. He was settling in for the evening and on the brink of put his daughter to mattress.

“I went to go to the bathroom, and was in there less than a minute, and I heard a weird noise,” mentioned Polk. “Then I turned and looked, and my daughter was coming out [of the room].”

Polk mentioned that he noticed flames shifting by the air, rapidly spreading all through his dwelling.

“It moved so fast. To me it looked like it was alive,” Polk mentioned concerning the fireplace. “I was totally awestruck. The thing looked to me like it was literally alive. It looked like it was almost trying to take us, but push us out.”

As the flames consumed his home, Polk and his daughter moved rapidly. The excessive warmth of the fireplace brought about the sunshine bulbs above their heads to blow up.

“And one of them burned into the back of my head and melted into my hoodie,” he mentioned.

He grabbed his daughter and began operating towards the door, carrying her. The warmth was so intense, he needed to crouch down and crawl on the ground together with her. He felt two scorching blasts of air and heard propane bottles exploding round him. He was unable to collect any belongings as he rushed to vacate the home.

I would say in less than two minutes the whole place was engulfed,” Polk mentioned.

Polk and his daughter escaped with few accidents. Polk suffered from burns on his palms and his daughter, who has Down syndrome, had a minor burn on her head and a few emotional trauma.

“I have to keep things at an even keel for her. This whole thing had her just really messed up there for a while. But she’s okay. She’s emotionally coming back to Earth,” mentioned Polk.

Polk and his daughter weren’t dressed for the below-freezing climate exterior. Polk mentioned that he’s grateful to a person in a white Ford F-150 truck who let his daughter keep heat contained in the heated cab. Polk waited exterior for emergency responders to reach.

Polk is looking for this man with the truck. He desires to personally thank him, and Polk believes that he misplaced the keys to his four-wheeler contained in the truck. The four-wheeler is Polk’s solely transportation, and is now one among his few possessions.

“Everything. We lost everything. They’re all gone. My clothes are all gone. My phones, everything. Literally everything was lost in the flames. So we’re in a rough spot right now. But, you know, but at the same time, very thankful that we got out,” Polk mentioned.

Polk and his daughter are staying at his brother Warren’s home. Warren misplaced his dwelling in a home fireplace practically three years in the past.

“And so this is our second family involved in fire,” mentioned Polk. “And right now, I’m, you know, I’m trying to figure out what I got to do next.”

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