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Man's Home Withstands Massive Wildfire

With wildfires blazing through Washington's Okanogan County, one home remain undamaged even after being engulfed by flames. John Belles, who owns the concrete home, said "The fire was right here, 30 yards or so to the north of me when I decided it was time to go in the building." Belles was working 30 miles out of town when a friend informed him that a wildfire was approaching his property. So, Belles took shelter inside his concrete home, which he built in 1999 to stand up to wildfires and other extreme weather conditions.

Belles said "I grabbed the hose, soaked my clothing down and doused the north side of the building as much as I could. [The fire] got close enough that it was super heated and getting uncomfortable out there in the smoke. I went inside, shut the door behind me and watched it move by." Belles said he saw the flames rise as high as 20 feet, right around his home. Belles went on to state "I didn't know how it was going to work out, but I figured I was safe inside the building. It was cool and well protected with the concrete and everything."

He then waited a minute before going outside to assess the damage. He said "The building survived as it's supposed to. I was surprised the outside of the building didn't have any damage at all. The whole 20 acres is just scorched." The only effect was he lost power in his home. Belles added "It's a perfect example of the authorities being spread thin and not being able to take care of everybody. You know, you can't depend on that--you have to prepare." The Okanogan Complex of wildfires is now the largest in the state's history, measuring at just over 400 square miles.

Photo: Daily Mail

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