Oklahoma Man Uses Garden Hose To Survive Wildfire
DEWEY COUNTY, Oklahoma - Clean up has begun in northwest Oklahoma after devastating wildfires ripped across nearly 290,000 acres.
Ranchers are starting to assess the damage, but one man's incredible tale of survival is being called an act of God. Hoses are still out at the Stotts Ranch, just in case the fire returns. But one hose already saved a life.
Leroy Stotts was trying to protect his daughter's house last week as his wife Tammy corralled cattle across their 3100 acre property. Then the fire started heading towards their own home.
"I heard it coming I looked on the far ridge and just seen a I don't know how tall it was. Looked like 40 foot tall and as far as I could see," said Stotts.
He was surprised by how quickly he was surrounded. "I think between that canyon and this canyon and the trees there just created a wind tunnel and I just remember standing here and it knocked me off my feet."
So he stopped watering the yard, and started watering himself. "I couldn't find my pickup; couldn't find my house. Finally laid down and wet myself with a garden hose and went from there. I can remember the chunks of embers looked like baseballs flying by," Stotts added.
When the fire had passed, Leroy was alive without even a burn on his clothing. He was treated for smoke inhalation at the hospital, but is otherwise okay.
He and Tammy lost cattle, horses, cats and still haven’t found one of their dogs —and the rolling hills surrounding their home was scorched in every direction, but the couple said the man above was watching out for them that day.
"Felt like the Good Lord was watching over me. Put his protecting hand on me and the way we knew it was more than that. The next morning we picked up the garden hose over there that I had fought fire with and it was all burnt in two and wasn't good anymore. It had lasted me through the fire," Stotts said.
Rebuilding won’t happen overnight for these communities, but families like the Stotts are just counting their blessings.