POSTED: Sunday, August 19, 2012 - 12:00pm
UPDATED: Sunday, August 19, 2012 - 12:04pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Early last Tuesday morning when the skies were still dark, Doug DeRooy watched as fire devoured the hillside around his Cle Elum, Washington home.
His sister called him to offer her condolences.
"The worst I felt is when I was down on the highway watching the flames," said DeRooy.
But later, he walked onto his property to find what was close to a miracle.
"I had to call her back this morning and say I'm calling from my house. And she said it's still there. And I said yeah. She was flabbergasted," he said.
Down the road, Patty Holmes' vacation house is also still standing.
The charred land nearby a stark reminder to how close they came to losing it.
"I couldn't believe, from one end of the ridge to the other it was all fire and it was working its way down," she said. "And I thought it's gone. but you know what? God gave it to us and we've enjoyed it so much, and what I was so concerned about was the neighbors that live here and their home."
No such luck for their next door neighbors.
Their home one of at least 70 destroyed so far in the Taylor Bridge Fire.
Evacuated residents of the Sunlight Water Development anxiously watched as the fight to save their homes unfolds, but they have no idea what is happening.
Around the clock -- the firefighters keep working to save lives and save homes, and while dozens are lost, many more are saved.
"They worked on our behalf. They put their own lives second, that was very obvious," said DeRooy.