Volunteer firefighter saves own cabin in Brian Head Fire

Posted at 9:35 PM, Jun 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-28 00:30:12-04

PANGUITCH, Utah — Jim Doyan, JD to his friends, lives in a cabin looking down at Panguitch Lake. When he moved there, he decided to get involved in his community.

"I volunteered to help other people," said Doyan.

He joined the Panguitch Lake volunteer fire department. Little did he know, it would be his own department racing to the rescue when a wind shift pushed the flames of the Brian Head Fire to his back door.

"If I wouldn't have been a volunteer fireman, with my brother [firemen] waiting for us. I would have lost the house totally," said Doyan.

The department was already helping with efforts to protect all the homes in the Panguitch Lake area. Jim jumped into action, taking on some of the most aggressive and destructive firefighting effort.

"I had to use my own backhoe to dig my own roof to break it out to find the smoldering and flame coming out of the roof from the insulation."

Some of that insulation is now hanging through a hole in the ceiling inside the house. The back porch is burnt and boarded up. But the house is still standing and JD's fellow fire fighters are not done yet.

"The boys up here are saying it's going to be an old school type barn raising. We'll just get your house back up together and everyone will be partying," Doyan said.