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Firefighter Justin Crump was feverishly working to help control the largest wildfire in Washington state history when he heard the calls over the radio: His block in the north-central town of Pateros was being evacuated. It wasn't long before he could see for himself that his family's home had burned down.
Because of a mandatory evacuation order, Crump, 25, could breathe knowing his family had made it out safely Thursday: his eight months pregnant wife of almost five years, Kassia Daniels-Crump — who's also a firefighter — their young daughter, Trinity, and Daniels-Crump's mother, who's in the middle of cancer treatment.
The family's home burned down the first time in an electrical fire six years ago. They rebuilt, but "everything we saved the first time around burned this time," Daniels-Crump said — leaving the family to live in tents in a relative's yard. "It's hard on all of us," Daniels-Crump said, but "I think it's more difficult on my mom the second time around."
The Carlton Complex Fire, so-called after it formed from the merger of several individual fires, remained only 16 percent contained eight days after it started July 14, a federal incident report said late Tuesday afternoon. It has killed at least one person, burned more than 240,000 acres and destroyed about 150 homes.
- Wildfire Ravaging Washington Kills One and Destroys 150 Homes
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— Jacob Rascon and M. Alex Johnson