WHITE ROCK, Nevada (ABC4 Utah) – Tony Amigliore knew he had to leave his home Monday afternoon.
A fast moving fire was approaching from the west.
“I seen the fire coming up the hill over there and it just got bigger and bigger,” said Amigliore.
He gathered his two dogs and some personal belongings and left. There was an evacuation order for White Rock and Osino. Both communities are east of Elko. Late Monday, Interstate 80 was closed for several hours as firefighters battled the so-called Oil Well fire which jumped from White Rock across the interstate.
Tuesday morning, the evacuation order was lifted but not before 7,400 acres were burned along with several homes.
Amigliore returned to his home and was devastated to see it completely gone.
“Nothing, I found this,” said Amigliore as he pointed to his destroyed home. “Just nothing.”
BLM officials said a dozen homes and buildings were destroyed by the fire in the two communities. The spokesman said 16 vehicles were also destroyed.
Sylvia Cassel had her home destroyed.
“This is my home and I’ve been here 21 years and it’s pretty much all gone,” she said.
Cassel was at work when the fire broke out and wasn’t allowed anywhere near her home when she learned the fire was approaching her home. By Tuesday, she was told it was destroyed. She never had a chance to gather valuables.
“Losing things like pictures, everything else can be replaced but pictures and some of my kids stuff, stuff like that… They’re gone. I’ll never get them back.”
Some homeowners got to their homes before the evacuation order was in place. Juan Loera arrived to his home and saw the fire approaching. He said he started defensive measure like cutting weeds and watering the area. But he said fire fighters came to his rescue and fought back the fire saving his home. Loera said he’s grateful for what the firefighters did but is also saddened for his neighbors who lost their homes.
“They lost their homes,” Loera said. “We lost some valuables but really, they’re not that important. We saved our family.”
Most do have fire insurance but Tony Amiglioree doesn’t. He’s 77 years old and wonders what’s next.
“It’s indescribable,” he said. “Everything’s gone. Everything I’ve always worked hard for is gone.”
Greg Deimel, the BLM spokesman said by Tuesday evening the fire was 30 percent contained and did not grow. He said winds were not as strong as the day before. As for the cause of the fire Deimel said investigators are still searching for answers.