Community meeting held to discuss Signal Fire

Created: 05/12/2014 11:12 PM
By: Kai Porter, KOB Eyewitness News 4

More than a hundred people showed up for a community meeting at the convention center in Silver City Monday night.

One couple said the fire started so fast and spread so quickly that they had to be airlifted to safety along with their four dogs.

"The Forest Service called us and said we need to get you out of there. We need to get you out of there right now. And then it became an emergency," Benjamin Bevel said.

Bevel and his wife Sarah are hoping the fire missed their cabin. The couple was home when the fire started Sunday afternoon.

"I’m looking over across the top of that mountain and it’s coming so quick… it scared me," Bevel said. "My mouth went totally dry and I was having a hard time trying to get my mind to function.  Get what I thought we needed and get down to the pickup site."

They had just minutes to grab what they could and get out. The only way to evacuate was via helicopter.

"We couldn’t have driven out of there because the fire had engulfed the road that goes in there. So my truck is up there. My trailer is up there. All my quads. We left the house wide open!" Bevel said.

The Bevels joined more than a hundred others for the meeting, where firefighters updated the anxious crowd on the fire’s status.

Their neighbor Heidi Pendleton was one of the first people to report the fire.

"Our cat is still up there and our house that we built so we’re kind of worried," Pendleton said.

She was driving home with her kids when she saw the smoke sunday. The family hasn’t been able to check on their home since.

It’s tough, but I’m really glad that we’re not up there dealing with the fire and having to manage that situation so we just have to be grateful that we’re safe," Pendleton said.            

It’s nerve-wracking but she says luckily winds are pushing the fire away from her home. And she says firefighters are doing a fantastic job.

"They’re going to try and get into the property tomorrow with some vehicles so they can defend the property from the ground, so that makes me feel relieved. We’ll just hope for the best. Who knows, fire does what it wants," Pendleton said.

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