Alaska State Troops and aircrew rescued a man stuck for more than 20 days in the snow wilderness
Alaska State Troops with aircrew rescued a 30-year-old man, who survived more than 20 days in subzero temperature after his cabin in a remote area burned down.
The man, whose name is Tyson Steele told the State troops his story of what had happened to him. His cabin in a remote area of Susitna Valley burned down and he stuck out in the snowy wilderness for 20 days. He told that the cause of the fire was his own mistake. He put a piece of cupboard inside his wood stove to light it.
"I knew it was a problem, I've had wood stoves all my life. I knew that you don't do that,” he said. “So, it sent a spark out through the chimney which landed on the roof."
Soon, the entire roof was on fire. Steele said he quickly grabbed what he could — some blankets from his bed, a few coats, and some sleeping bags — and fled.
Steele told the authorities that he had a dog, 6-year-olf Labrador Phil, but to his deepest sorrow the pet could not flee from the cabin engulfed in the flames.
The area Steele lives is a remote with its nearest neighborhood being in 320 miles away and the only way out and in is by air charter, authorities say.
So, when Steele stayed all alone among the wilderness he had to find a way to survive until his family and friends begin to worry about him and send help. Steele’s telephone didn’t work.
The first two nights after his cabin was destroyed, Steele spent in the snow gave he built. Then he found some tarps and lumber to build a tent-like structure over what remained of his cabin.
Luckily a pantry had not been touched by fire and Steele was able to get some food. He got some canned food and jars of peanut butter. He had enough provand to survive at least 30 days if he only ate two cans a day.
“The thing was, maybe half of those cans, they’ve heated up and popped open and the smoke’s circulating inside,” he said. “So, it tastes like my home, just burning.”
Steele tried not to go outside too often and spent a lot of time sleeping. The snow by that moment had reached five feet.
The help arrived on Thursday when Alaska police received a call from one of Steele’s friends, who asked the authorities to check on him as they had not spoken to Steele for weeks.
Alaska authorities posted video on their Facebook showing a man franticly waving his arms standing next to a giant “SOS” sign etched into the snow.
Now, when he is safe, Steele says he is panning to head to Salt lake City where his family lives.
"They've got a dog. And that would be some therapy," he said.