WHAT HAPPENED: Explosion on my property last night.
I sincerely thought I was under fire in AFG, because it felt exactly like the VBIED that hit the Gate when I was at Kandahar. My dear friend, Angela Kurtz was severely burned over 40% of her body and face in a propane blast in her travel trailer. I ran outside to her and was able to provide aid until my son and housemate were able to help move her into our home. Two of her three pets made it out. (Talyn and Beagen) The 3rd, Boo Boo the 10 year old English Bull Dog, was in the back bedroom in her favorite place. She was instantly killed by the blast; the concussion was felt 40 yards away in my home.
(Boo Boo )
THE EVENTS: What happened moment by moment
I heard Angela screaming and my kids and housemate ran out of our house toward the inferno and her screams. I saw Beagen running out of her little yard! My daughter caught the little dog and cuddled him. I ran up to Angela who had somehow had the presence of mind to run out the door of her trailer and rip her clothes off so as to drop and roll in the cold wet grass. I sent my daughter in to grab a blanket from our house that I was able to drape around Angela's shoulders as she moaned and screamed in agony. My housemate was on the phone beside me talking to 911, " yes, the fire is still going!" he said into the phone. I thought-OMG we could explode here by her car and yelled for him to grab her legs while I reached under her shoulders. We desperately ran away towards my house while my son ran towards Angela's little travel trailer home with the fire extinguishers. "It's too late for those! We have to get far away! Please grab her; I can't carry her anymore!" Even though Angela is tiny, I was too breathless. But I passed her to my son and was able to get ahead to open the door. I threw a soft afghan on the couch. I sat down so they could place Angela in my arms and she could lean against me. At some point, my son ran down the driveway and opened our Security Gate.
I swear I could not have done this alone.
Honestly, we did all of this in the space of 5 minutes, because my household came together as a team.
Thankful to be on Whidbey with amazing neighbors and First Responders
I would like to thank my neighbors (state patrolman and his wife, a Med Tech/CNA) as the first neighbors to reach us packing First Aid supplies (Angela's injuries were beyond those supplies). He helped direct First Responders and she helped hold a sheet up as a screen as we both consoled Angela and reassured her that the ambulance was on the way.
As usual we are blessed to also have the quick response of Whidbey Fire and Emergency services--several vehicles showed up: fire trucks, sheriffs, and EMTs. Each and everyone was courteous, polite, professional, caring, and well-trained. The fire was put out and the EMTs carried Angela away. I am proud to be a member of this community of Whidbey Island with great neighbors and First Responders.
I would also like to thank Robert Moody, DVM at Central Whidbey Veterinary Services. We brought Beagen down to him; the little guy was shellshocked and singed. We are still searching for the cat Talyn, but saw him run off without any apparent injuries or cries. We have placed notices on FB Groups for help in finding him as well as searched the area around the explosion.
(Talyn and Beagen)
Angela was airlifted to Harborview Trauma Center in Seattle. She was placed into a medically induced coma for purposes of treatment and healing. All we know is that she did not lose her sight even though it blew up in her face. Her beautiful silvery hair was burnt and black. As far as I could tell her main burns were her arm and leg. I just couldn't look closely. Her family reports that the doctors have her stabilized, but she is in critical condition. All that remains of her camper trailer is a shell; she lost almost everything.
It was an inferno in a matter of moments
(Her cute little travel trailer was destroyed)
I have been given permission by her family as Team Leader to initiate this GoFundMe. There will be medical bills from the medevac, ICU days, surgeries, and rehab. She needs some kind of little house on wheels again, maybe some kind of tiny house. She also needs your prayers and encouraging comments. We will share your words with her when she awakens. Her life was blown up and she needs to hear from you all.
- Mark Wahl
- sallee dixson
Organizer and beneficiary
Oak Harbor, WA