Firefighter lost dogs/home to fire
$3,001 of $2,799 goal
There are a few news articles about Leo and the recent events which I will cut and paste the links to here. Also there are some excerpts from some of the articles as well as videos of the local news interviewing him and his neighbors -
Anything that you can give will help Leo greatly - as he is still working 16 hour days and currently sleeping on the floor at the fire station.
"Firefighter lost home to wildfire he was fighting" By KTUU news:
"Starting over: Willow firefighter who lost home to Sockeye blaze gets his dogs back" By Alaska Dispatch News
Leo Lashock is a captain with the Willow Fire Department and a recreational dog musher. The house he lives in burned down Sunday while he was fighting the Sockeye wildfire as it rapidly spread in the Susitna Valley, Alaksa.
The Boeves, his next-door neighbors, evacuated from the fire but took care of Lashock's team until Thursday.
Then they brought 17 dogs home.
“I know, I know,” the 20-year-old Boeve crooned as she guided the slender husky past the crumpled metal roof, the blackened mattress spring, the stink of char and ruin. “This is scary. This isn’t home, is it?”
The house was gone. But the dog yard survived. The huskies wagged their tails and sniffed unburned wooden dog boxes.
Lashock, 51, rushed to the front as the wildfire exploded Sunday afternoon into an inferno of 100-foot walls of flame rushing south toward homes and cabins.
The phone rang.
“Leo called and said, ‘It’s Leo. Get my dogs,’ and hung up,”
“They kept me apprised of what was going on. As soon as I knew they had got them out of there I was pretty relieved,” Lashock said Thursday by phone from the fire, where crews continued to hose down hot spots and build protective fire lines. “Had it been the other way around where the house was saved and the dogs weren’t, I’d be ripped apart right now.”
Three of his dogs are missing and feared dead but he’s holding out hope that at least two may turn up.
(Leo here with Friends at the Bill Rodgers Running Center in Boston, MA for the Boston Marathon)
Lashock wasn’t home. He was about 8 miles up the Parks Highway helping Willow Fire Chief Mahlon Greene with a project at the chief’s cabin.
The emergency radio crackled with the increasingly dire reports as the blaze quickly swelled. Lashock headed for the fire, eyeing the huge column of smoke already rising about 3 miles from his home.
He turned toward a road closest to the flames. Heavy smoke cut all visibility. There were houses directly in the path of the advancing fire. Cars emerged from the smoke as residents escaped.
South, along Kashwitna Lake, Lashock started blowing his horn and moving people out. Another huge smoke plume rose. People weren’t moving fast enough: A resident on a four-wheeler pushed it close enough that Lashock feared the fire would overtake the firefighters.
“It was at the point where the next decision was to bail out,” he said. “We would have lost some personnel at that point.”
At some point, Lashock looked toward his neighborhood and saw a wall of orange smoke.
“That’s presumably when my house was gone,” he said. But he knew his dogs were safe thanks to his neighbors.
Lashock said he lost everything but what he had in a camper truck: 40 years of accumulated possessions; his dog truck, clothing and furniture; even two grandstand seats from the old Fenway Park that the Red Sox fan had shipped to Alaska. He's still putting in 16-hour days and resting at the Willow fire station.
Lashock plans to move into the cabin that survived the flames. He doesn't own the property, and the landowner spends most of his time in the Lower 48.
“There’s no rebuilding. The cabin is sufficient,” he said. “It’s a good time to downsize anyway.”
(( Leo is friends with the Marathon Runner Bill Rodgers & everyone at the Bill Rodgers Running Center in Boston, MA. He has come to Run and also work and volunteer at the Running Center in Boston, MA for many years - We will be doing our best to spread the word about Leo and trying to help him, his dogs & his neighbors as much as we can through donations. Anything you can give will be a great help! - And if you can't give please SHARE & SPREAD THE WORD)) -- Thank you all for your support! - Everyone at the Bill Rodgers Running Center.
Thank you! Let's help get Leo and his dogs back into a safe and secure home!
DISCLAIMER: If you have any concerns or questions about this fundraiser for Leo please feel free to email me or call me on my phone. My name is Andy Rodgers, my uncle is Bill Rodgers ("Boston Billy" 4 time winner of the Boston Marathon & 4 time winner of the NYC Marathon) - Leo worked at the Bill Rodgers Running Center and has been friends with our family and friends for years - He moved away to Alaska years ago but we still are in touch and he visits for the Boston Marathon. Once we are done raising some money for Leo then ALL OF THE MONEY RAISED HERE AND MORE will go DIRECTLY TO LEO -- when this happens we will keep you all updated with the details. We are posting this Go Fund Me fundraiser on the various Bill Rodgers & Bill Rodgers Running Center facebook pages as well as the website which can be seen at the following links below:
You can also email ME directly by contacting me through GOFUNDME -
or you can call my cell phone if you wish to speak with me directly: 617-894-5664
Here is the latest update from Leo (slightly edited down version)
"Well, no change in the work schedule. Still doing the 16 hour days (technically 15.5 now), with 2 days off now since the fire. Less and less people, with continued and more persistent hot spots within the subdivisions. There is a scrap and salvage company that is going throughout the area removing burned out cars and and scrap metal (they will likely end up where they break out even, as it's more of a push to help the community). Anyway, they cleared out the dog trucks, trailer, pickup, and all the metal roofing. So there is actually only very little rubble left now that was once the entire house and contents. I'm hoping my next day off to clear off the slab where the attached garage and bedroom were, and work on having the cabin moved over to it. It's not only a better location, but will really help me incredibly mentally and emotionally. (I will fill all the debris in the damaged foundation, and cap it with gravel. That will help in some ways too, knowing the dogs ashes and everything else I had are still there in some way).
Hard to believe it will be a month tomorrow."
Let's keep this going! Any amount will help! and if you haven't already shared this please post this on facebook and email this to friends and family!
thank you everyone!
"Still working 16s on the fire, still loads of hot spots throughout the subdivisions. We had a couple days of drizzle, but the forecast is sunny and mid-high 70's starting tomorrow. Hopefully everyone enjoys a nice Safe holiday weekend...
Thanks again for everything.
We now have almost $2400 for Leo ! Let's keep pushing and make it happen! thank you everyone for your support so far!