Firefighter loses home to fire in Sagle - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Firefighter loses home to fire in Sagle

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Photo: Bonner County EMS Photo: Bonner County EMS
Sagle, Idaho -

A man who fights fires to protect land and homes for a living experienced the worst on Monday after he came home to find his own home burned to the ground.

The family says they are hanging in there. Flames ripped through their house late Sunday. 

Homeowner James McDonald says he was working in Redmond, Oregon, with Neptune Aviation because he is an aerial firefighter. He got the call Sunday night that his home was on fire and drove up to come back to nothing really left.  He says it's a completely surreal feeling. 

"I'm the lead mechanical crew chief on one of the heavy air tankers, we deal with fire. That's what we do all across the country and then to come home to this is kind of weird. You know, dealing with fire is such a monster," said McDonald. 

He says a huge blessing is that nobody got hurt and nobody was inside the home at the time. There also wasn't a lot of wind yesterday so that helped keep the fire from spreading. The key lesson is to always have defensible space. He says he didn't have a lot of it, but thankfully he had some.

McDonald does have fire insurance. He says for now he will be in a hotel with his family.

On Tuesday, he's meeting with fire investigators to see if they know what caused the fire. He says he's extremely grateful for fire crews getting the blaze out and saving the rest of his property. 

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