Residents displaced by fire escorted to homes to recover essentials

Posted at 7:04 PM, Aug 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-15 21:04:38-04

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah – People who have been displaced by the Rockport 5 Fire were able to go to their homes and grab some necessities Thursday, but officials said the evacuation order will remain in effect into at least Friday.

Summit County Sheriff’s Office deputies escorted more than a dozen people to their houses, or what’s left of them.

Dave Alderman is one of the owners of the Gas and Grub, which is a convenience store outside the evacuation area, and he said the store has become an unofficial center of information.

“Most people are locals that can't get back to their homes, so they meet here, and they want to know what we've heard here,” he said.

Alderman said he’s heard some sad stories from folks in the area.

“It's heartbreaking,” he said. “One of our employees was the first house burned down. They lost everything. The house is leveled. The only thing that is still standing is the chicken coop.”

Kathleen and Alan Jaspnovic said they were eager to retrieve essentials from their home.

“We are going to be, hopefully, escorted in by a sheriff's deputy to retrieve some medications and things like that," Alan Jaspnovic said.

“When we were first told to evacuate I couldn't really think clearly about all the things it takes," Kathleen Jaspnovic said. "So I was concerned about getting the kids and our three cats and getting them out. So, I didn't grab all the things that when you have a clear mind you would get.”

Tom Ward was escorted into the evacuated area, and he returned with his cat and some peace of mind after seeing his home remains untouched by fire.

“I don't want to face it again tonight when the wind picks up,” Ward said.