As firefighters continue work to control the Cache Fire in Lake County, one man was able to reunite with his dogs after they were separated.
Clearlake resident Rodney Gehlen’s motorhome was destroyed by the Cache Fire. It was one of the 50 homes destroyed.
“It roared right through,” he said.
Gehlen said it was the second time in 45 days that the fire destroyed his home. He was living in the RV after his Clearlake home burned last month.
As flames closed in on Gehlen’s RV, he said he scrambled to gather his three dogs, tying each one up so he could focus on one at a time. But the wind driven fire was moving too fast.
Gehlen said police showed up and ordered him to escape with them. But he couldn’t go back to get his dogs. Gehlen returned to the area that same night to find one of his dogs. But he feared the other two had died.
Days later, North Bay Animal Control Officer Emily Crum checked the property.
“We were about to leave. I happened to see on the side under the trailer hitch. I thought it was dead,” she said.
Crum told NBC Bay Area that she walked closer to the dog when she noticed it was limping.
“I walked up and saw her blinking and moving her tail, its alive,” she added.
Miraculously the dog, whose name is Sammie was not burned. Officials said that Sammie was just coated with specks of flame retardant.
An hour later officer, Crum found Gehle’s other dog and he was soon reunited with his pets at a local shelter.
“Ecstatic, I really love them dogs,” he said. “They have been with me a long time. They are part of my family.”
Gehlen told NBC Bay Area Saturday that he has found a new place to stay. He hopes to pick up all three of his dogs from the shelter next week to be truly reunited with his furry family of survivors.
“I can’t wait to get ‘em back,” he said.