Luther family escapes firestorm in farm pond
LUTHER, OK – A tidal wave of flames swept over Luther Friday evening.
Justin Wilson said, “When it came, it came quick. There wasn’t any time to do anything.”
Most families evacuated.
But John Wilson thought his 5 acre farm, his hunting dogs and his family, were out of harm’s way.
The fire was on the other side of the turnpike, afterall.
Wilson said, “We waited just a little too long.”
John and son, Justin decided to stay back and stomp out some flames encroaching on the property.
John told us, “When we looked back, there was a wall of flames higher than the house.”
They ran 1/4 mile away, to an 8 foot deep farm pond.
It protected them, and a frightened box turtle from raining embers.
The fire victim said, “He was hot and needed water. So he didn’t give us a second thought. He ran in between us and bailed into the water. He was like, get over fellas, I need water too.”
John says it was “hell on earth”.
And then, a surprise phone call from a brave neighbor.
“He says, where are you? I’m in the pond. Well, I’m coming to you. There were fire and flames all over the place. I’ll be there in a minute.” Wilson said.
The neighbor cut a path through those flames, rescued the Wilsons and sped away.
John said, “We left with what we had on our back. But that’s better than nothing.”
The Wilsons returned Monday with hopes of salvaging something but there was nothing left.
While they have no material possessions, they have family, their faith and a bible from an Oklahoma chaplain.
John said, “That’s the best place to start. Build on this, it will stand for a long time.” He said, “It’s a foundation for a fresh beginning.”