‘In 5 seconds I would have been gone’: Oregon Road Fire survivor shares harrowing story

Firefighters in Spokane County are continuing to battle the Oregon Road Fire in Eastern Washington.

As of Wednesday afternoon, that fire has burned more than 10,000 acres and is 79% contained.

Meanwhile, we heard from a man recovering at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after he was caught in the flames of that fire and got burned.

“I was watching my skin drip off,” Justin Knutsen recalled. “My skin was melting.”

The hospital said Knutsen and his wife and children had minutes to escape their home in Elk. After his family left, Knutsen decided to go check on two neighbors but his truck failed from the intense heat.

“I had no power in my truck, I had no gas, I had no brakes, I had no steering, I couldn’t do anything,” said Knutsen. “I said to myself I can’t sit in this truck so I hopped out and started running. As I was running I couldn’t really open my eyes because of the heat so I just remember looking down and making sure I was on pavement still.”

He was then picked up by a neighbor as she escaped the wildfire.

“That woman saved me. If it weren’t for her... in five seconds I would’ve been gone,” said Knutsen.

Harborview Medical Center said Justin is in satisfactory condition and is recovering from the burns to about 30% of his body. And he is eager to get home to his family and community.

You can watch his full interview in the video below.

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