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Man Recalls Narrow Escape From Kansas Wildfire

staff - March 27, 2016 6:04 am

grass fire file

MEDICINE LODGE, Kan. (AP) — An 87-year-old man who lost his 19th-century home to a prairie fire that has scorched a large swath of southern Kansas is recounting how he narrowly escaped the flames with his wife.

Korean War veteran Don Gerstner says the blaze that spread into Kansas from Oklahoma advanced quickly Wednesday on the Barber County home near Medicine Lodge he has shared for 54 years with his wife, Carol.

Gerstner says that when he looked out the kitchen window, he saw what he described as a wall of fire coming. He yelled for his wife to get her pocketbook, and the couple fled with their dogs, at times driving through flames to escape.Gerstner says the couple watched from afar as the fire consumed their home, much of it built with bricks from the county’s old courthouse.

City of Salina