A group of volunteer fire fighters were called heroes on Tuesday after saving an elderly, bedridden woman from her small home near Morrison.
“There were 50 mile an hour winds. It was solid smoke when they were bringing her out,” Rocky Henderson recalled Tuesday. His mother, who he asked not be named, was trapped inside her small trailer home Monday afternoon as a grass fire closed in on the building.
Henderson works at the Ditch Witch facility 15 miles from his mother’s house. He said a neighbor called and told him their fields were on fire. He said he asked his neighbor to get his mother from the home before it was consumed by flames.
“I knew I just had to get here and get mom out of the house,” Henderson said
Henderson said his neighbor was able to get a hold of a volunteer fire fighting crew to get to the house.
Morrison Fire Department Chief Chris Ridge said they had crews fighting the flames in the back while a crew in the front used a wheelchair to get Mrs. Henderson from her home. The flames came within 10 feet of the home and within three feet of two large propane tanks.
“It was pretty unbelievable. They are truly heroes,” Henderson said about the crews that brought his mother safely from her home.
“We're just volunteers, it's what we do,” Ridge said, dismissing the compliment with a smile. “We all love or we wouldn't be doing it.”
Henderson guesses the fire scorched more than 200 acres of grazing land and burned a $10,000 hay barn to the ground, with the winter's stock still inside. He said however, none of their nearly 40 head of cattle were hurt, including two newborn calves.
All around the property on Tuesday, burnt piles of charred metal and wood smoldered making the family farm look more like a post-apocalyptic movie scene. Henderson said there was a lot of work ahead, but things will be OK, thanks to the support of the town around them.
“For anybody who hasn't grown up in a small community, they don't know what they're missing,” Henderson said. “It's really a family.”
He added by the end of Monday’s fire, neighbors had already begun bringing rolls of hay from their farms to help restock the lost supply.
On Tuesday, the Hendersons were still fighting hot spots. They were hoping more high winds don't ignite the flames still burning. Ridge said MFD was keeping a close eye on the property as well.
While it will take a while to recover, Rocky Henderson says he's happy he's burying embers, instead of someone he loves.
“We're just happy we get another day with mom.”