ROCKTON, Ill. (WTVO) — Community leaders say it is important for those in the evacuation to heed their warning and stay away. But some families chose not to follow that advice.
We spoke with one family who decided to stay, and say that decision may have saved their home.
“We’re just thankful that we’re here and that our house didn’t burn,” said Katie Adami.
Katie and Blair live nearly a half-mile form the Chemtool facility. Some tall trees and an empty field are all that sits between their home and the plant.
“We could even hear the fire –the crackling–and we came out. And if we stood out here, anywhere out close to here, you could feel the heat from the flames,” said Katie.
The couple says their safety concerns became reality when the fire got bigger and closer.
“I said, ‘Honey I think the fields on fire. And he said ‘no, no I’m sure it’s not.’ And I said ‘no no you need to get up and look’ and before you knew it, our field was on fire and it had came through the easement and it was – I dont know how many yards to the house,” she described.
Blair called 911 and the fire was quickly put out.
“The brush fire guys were up by the water tower. I ran up there and got them and they come back and cut a hole in the fence and then come over with the brush trucks and put out this fire. And then they brought in some heavy equipment and cut fire breaks,” said Blair.
All but one other family evacuated from their block. Now the couple wonders what could have happened if they had left too.
“We even had the hoses out with water already turned on and ready to spray if needed,” said Katie.
We were there with the couple as the wind has shifted away from their home. Katie and Blair say they want to thank the fire department and all those who are helping people in need.