Washington man survives wildfire by running into it

Mark Nelson was able to make it out of the blaze in Brewster alive.

Evan Bleier
A wildfire burning in Colorado (File/UPI/Jess Geffre/Colorado National Guard)
A wildfire burning in Colorado (File/UPI/Jess Geffre/Colorado National Guard) | License Photo

BREWSTER , Wash., July 25 (UPI) -- It sounds counterintuitive, but a Washington man was able to rely on his instincts and survive a wildfire by running straight at it.

When wildfires began rapidly approaching his Brewster home, Mark Nelson was barely able to grab his cat, Fluffy, and get out the door before the flames arrived.


He got in his car and began driving, but quickly had to abandon his van after it caught on fire.

Unable to get away from the blaze, Nelson decided to go to it instead. "I had to get behind the fire," Nelson told KING TV. "At one point, I said, 'This is it.' But I said, 'Hell, no ... gotta keep on moving.'"

The 60-year-old grabbed Fluffy and ran at the flames before dropping to the ground at the last second to allow them to pass over him.

Nelson lost his home, but he is OK and Fluffy is as well. He did sustain burns on his hand, side and legs.

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