Heroes recognized for bravery in wildfires

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LUTHER, Okla. — Some heroes from the wildfires are being recognized for their bravery in rescuing animals trapped by the flames earlier this month.  

After the 2011 wildfires, Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel put together an animal rescue team made up of deputies and volunteers. 

That new team was literally baptized by fire near Luther Aug. 3.

Bill Cavanaugh and his wife Margaret are volunteers in the new rescue team. 

When the call went out that horses were trapped by the wildfire at this barn near Luther, the Cavanaughs and others sprang into action.

While the volunteers waited near the fire line with trailers hoping the animals hadn’t already panicked.

Meanwhile the deputies had fought their way through smoke and flames to reach the horses’ barn.

The volunteers and deputies saved the day for the horses.

Unfortunately the flames took everything else, not just the barn but the corral and the horse owners’ home. 

But because of the new animal rescue team, precious possessions, like “Babe,” still remain a part of the family.   

Babe’s owner who lost a home and everything else didn’t want to talk on camera. 

With Babe and the three other horses, they ran a horse carriage business downtown. 

But they said with the help of their friends like the Cavanaughs they are putting their lives back together.


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