Arlington firefighters return home from battling devastating California wildfires
ARLINGTON, Wash. - A team of firefighters returned home to Arlington Friday night, after lending a hand in the dangerous and deadly California wildfires.
Arlington fire fighters came back home in Engine 46 after fighting the California wildfires for five days.
“Seeing the devastation, it was like 'wow, the stuff you see on TV is really happening,' and it’s really right in front of us,” said Captain Cary Stuart with the Arlington Fire Department.
It’s the first time the fire fighters have answered the call to battle fires in California.
“Pressure and you don’t know what’s going to happen next,” Stuart said. “Just an awesome feeling that you can be part of helping those people down there and making a difference."
For 24 hours straight, fire fighters worked on a strike team holding down a fire threatening homes.
Another assignment took them to areas decimated by the deadly infernos.
“Seeing the homes that were just gone,” Anna Melillo said. “You’d see chimneys, a foundation, you’d know that that was a family that lived there and that was their life. So it was hard to see.”
In all, 50 engines from our area made it to the mission.
“It was like we finally get to do something here. You sit there and you wring your fingers and you’re like. 'argh I wish we could be there helping.' and now we finally got to,” Melillo added.
Firefighters said they would do it again in a heartbeat, if the call came again.