Sheep Creek Lodge owners who evacuated leave doors open for firefighters
It started as a typical busy Saturday at the Sheep Creek Lodge nearly two weeks ago.
Then they started to hear of a wildfire burning to the North.
Then the highway closed.
Then the power went out.
"We knew it was going to get bad," said owner Molly Crawford.
It wasn't long before first responders told them they had to go. The fire was heading south fast.
"The cooks shut everything down back there. We still had order tickets in the window, food in the window, people everywhere. We asked everybody to leave and we took off," Crawford said.
But even if they couldn't stay at the lodge, they wanted to make sure firefighters could.
"We unlocked all the doors to the lodge. We made sandwiches with the food that was going to go to waste on the line. Stocked some coolers with waters and drinks and left if for them, and told them to use the facility how they needed to," Crawford said.
They went to Wasilla for two nights. At one point, a rumor started circulating that the lodge had burned.
"Four hours we spent thinking we'd lost it all and now what are we going to do?" she said
They were fortunate, but many in the neighborhood were not. When they returned they still didn't have electricity, so they went to work cooking up food before it went bad and feeding neighbors and firefighters for free.
"So many people we know have lost so much. We just want to feed whoever we can," Crawford said.
Firefighters are still using the property as a staging area to hold equipment and personnel close to the fire line. The parking lot is also serving as a gas station for crews.
The lodge hopes to be back open Saturday evening.
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