Oregon Wildfires Claim 13-Year-Old Boy Shielded By His Dog Until The Very End
A 13-year-old Oregon boy is being remembered as a hero after running back through the wildfire with his dog to try to rescue his grandma.
The destruction of wildfires on the west coast aren’t just costly in terms of dollars and cents. They are taking lives. A thirteen-year-old boy and his dog were victims of the wildfires sweeping across Oregon. The locations and positions of Wyatt Tofte and his loyal dog Duke have revealed a lot about their heroism and bravery in their final moments.
Wyatt’s father Chris had gone out to borrow a generator because their electricity was out. After heading out, wildfires swept into their area and he was not permitted to drive back to get his family.
Wyatt’s mom Angela and her mother Peggy Mosso decided the three of them would make a run for it.
Boy And Family Dog Flee Oregon Wildfire
The three stranded family members got in the car with their 200-pound Bull Mastiff mix Duke and their three cats. The heat from the fire was so intense that it started melting the tires.
Unfortunately, Peggy had a broken leg so there was no way she could run.
Faced with certain doom, Angela told Wyatt to make a run for safety with Duke since they would be fastest together without the adults. That decision that would change this family forever.
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Then, Angela came to the conclusion that trying to get her mother to safety would only cause both of them to perish. So, she headed out on her own 10 minutes after her son.
Meanwhile, Chris somehow made it past the barricade in a “hell on wheels” attempt to rescue his family from the raging blaze that encompassed their neighborhood.
The smoke was so thick that it was hard to see the roads he knew so well. But, his familiarity with them guided his path.
Burned Woman In A Bikini
As he was driving, Chris came across a woman crawling along the road that he thought was wearing a bikini. Her hair was singed, her bare feet were burned, and her mouth looked black.
The woman had used her clothes to wrap up her feet to walk because she was so badly burned.
Upon a closer look, he realized she was not wearing a bikini but rather underwear.
Chris told the woman that she could jump in the car but he was continuing through the inferno to find his family. The distressed woman began resisting.
Finally, she muttered, “I am your wife.”
Chris Tofte (pictured as the search continued for his son Wyatt Wednesday) spoke of the heartbreaking moment he was unable to recognize his wife because she was so badly burned, as it's revealed their 13-year-old son died while clutching his pet dog pic.twitter.com/Kn9auU6u8B
— Thomas E Matakas (@EMatakas) September 12, 2020
In shock, Chris quickly drove his wife to medics who were down the hill. He then drove back past the barricades again to find his son and their dog.
The distraught father wasn’t even able to get half as far as last time. Falling trees and flames pushed him back.
In the following days, Chris tried to find Wyatt. Finally, Marion County Sheriff’s deputies confirmed that 13-year-old Wyatt was one of the wildfire’s victims.
— Hans Van Poucke (@HvanPoucke) September 13, 2020
Young Wildfire Victim Tried To Rescue His Grandma
The tragic scene showed that Wyatt and his dog Duke returned to the family car to try to save his Grandma Peggy. She died in the backseat while Wyatt was in the driver’s seat.
A loyal dog until the end, Duke’s body was laid over Wyatt, attempting to shield his favorite boy from the flames and smoke.
This heartbreaking story is a reminder of how devastating and indiscriminate to its victims these wildfires can be. The Tofte family of Oregon will never be the same.
In Oregon, more than a million acres have burned in a week killing at least 10 people, including Peggy Mosso and her 13-year-old grandson Wyatt Tofte.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 14, 2020
Angela’s body is ravaged by burns. She has had surgery but currently doesn’t have any ability in her arms.
The Tofte’s home is destroyed. They will have to rebuild their hearts and their home.
The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help offset the high cost of medical bills and funeral costs.
While nothing can ease this family’s unimaginable loss, this brave boy and his loyal dog will be remembered as heroes of the devastating Oregon wildfires.
God bless and hold the Tofte family.