Sherry Hudson shakes when she considers the tragedy she narrowly escaped.
Hudson was sleeping in a travel trailer when fire erupted in an adjacent barn in the 1000 block of Pottery Road Thursday at about 4:30 a.m.
“I woke up and it was almost like daylight in the trailer because of the flames. I could hear popping noises,” she said.
Opening the door of the trailer, Hudson saw flames consuming everything in sight, including a barbecue, hay, equipment and vehicles.
With the trailer on fire, there was no time for Hudson to rescue personal effects, and particularly legal papers for a property she just purchased.
“I just grabbed my dogs and ran,” she said.
“The barn was red hot and I could feel the heat. I ran through the garden in bare feet.”
Running towards her was Rick Wallas.
“I was coming to drag her out,” said Wallas, who lives in a rental house on the property.
“I saw the blaze on the reflection on the wall,” he said.
“There was total red and crackling. It was so engulfed I couldn’t even grab my son’s motorcycle.”
In the barn was Wallas’ Bronco and tools.
Firefighters experienced a number of challenges.
“It was tough to get at. The fire was at the rear of the property and we had to get in from adjoining properties,” said Jack Blair, Vernon deputy fire chief, adding that burning power lines also impacted access.
The primary focus was to keep the fire from spreading to the north to a shed and the house.
“We wanted to confine the fire to the area of origin and hold it there,” said Blair.
Heavy equipment was needed to pull the hay apart.
“We’ll be doing a fire watch with the straw for awhile to make sure there are no smoking embers,” said Blair.
The cause of the fire is not known and is not being described as suspicious at this time.
“It’s being investigated and we’re looking at all avenues,” said Blair.