After the fire destroyed his cabin and killed his dog, 30-year-old Tyson Steel was completely alone and a few miles from help in a remote corner of the harsh Susitna Valley in Alaska. He had only a small amount of food and just a wood-burning stove for warmth. Despite the incredible odds, he managed to survive for three weeks thanks to snow and frost. Last week, he was rescued by Alaskan soldiers who found him covered in ash and tired but alive, next to an SOS signal knocked out in the snow. They brought him back to civilization, and he told an incredible story.
According to a report from Alaska, Steele has been living in the Susitna Valley since September with his dog, a chocolate lab named Phil. He was 20 miles from his closest neighbor, but simply lived in the plastic hut of Quonset in a forest clearing. In addition to the faulty phone battery, which was difficult to charge, he got along fine. He even managed to grow jalapenos in his hideout. One night in mid-December, a disaster occurred.
“It started with a rather hasty mistake,” Steele said. “I put a large piece of cardboard in the stove to light a fire. What I knew was a problem. I've had wood stoves all my life. I knew you weren’t doing this.
A fiery piece of cardboard climbed the chimney and sank onto the plastic roof. Steele woke up in the middle of the night at the sound of a flame melting plastic.
“Dripping, dripping, dripping – fiery drops of plastic penetrate through the roof above me,” he said.
He ran outside to throw snow into the fire and saw that his whole cabin was on fire.
“It lights up faster than I can even imagine,” he said.
Steele immediately thought of his dog, which was still in the cabin. He rushed back to take what he could – mostly blankets and sleeping bags – and called out to Phil to get out of the burning shelter. He saw the dog jump out of bed, but Phil never went outside. When Steele was in a hurry to grab the rifle from the cockpit side, he heard Phil begin to howl from the inside.
“I was hysterical,” Steele told the soldiers. “I have no words for what sorrow; it was just a scream. Just intuitive – not evil, not sad, simple, that's all I could express.
Flames raged all night, destroying all of Steel's ammunition, his phone, and most of his belongings. Frustrated by grief and exhausted by attempts to extinguish the fire, he decided to take stock as soon as dawn arrived.
“So I just sit by my burning house,” he said. “I started to work out a plan.”
He was able to save several cans of food – for example, beans and peanut butter – and calculated that he could survive two cans a day for 30 days. But the heat of the fire melted and opened some of the containers, polluting the food with smoke. The food he ate the night before he was rescued illustrates how he lived.
“Last night there was a smoked bean dinner with smoked plastic,” he said. “Neither Hickory nor Mesquite, this is a Class A tarp.”
First, Steele built a snow cave for shelter. Fortunately, the wood burning stove from his cabin still worked, and he used it to keep warm on long, cold nights in Alaska. He later dug up tarps and lumber trimmings to build shelter around the furnace.
But he knew that he could not live so long. Miles of forest separated him from his closest neighbor. On top of that, he survived the days of heavy snow, which left several feet of powder on the ground and his snowshoes burned in flames, it was almost impossible for him to travel. So he knocked out a large SOS sign in the snow near his camp and wiped it with ash from the fire to make it more visible from the sky. And he was waiting.
Fortunately, interested relatives contacted state soldiers when they received no news from Steele, and a helicopter group went out to look for him.
“This request made us look for him,” said Ken Marsh, a spokesman for Alaska's state forces. New York Times"SOS may have eventually recruited a pilot to investigate, but it’s hard to say when – more than three weeks have passed."
After the rescue, Steele took a hot shower and a well-deserved meal McDonald & # 39; s. As for what comes next, he plans to spend some time with his family in Utah.
“They have a dog,” he said. “And it will be some therapy.”
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