Family who nearly lost cabins in fire snaps ‘angelic’ photo

Idaho Falls

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Bruce Empey took this photo as crews were fighting the Henry’s Creek fire Tuesday. | Courtesy Jeanette Empey

BONE — Jeanette Empey has titled the photo “The Fireman’s Guardian.” If you take a close look, you’ll see why.

Empey’s husband, Bruce, took the picture on their ranch in Bone on Tuesday as the Henry’s Creek fire nearly destroyed their property.

“My husband and son went up to the ranch Monday night after learning the fire had jumped the Bone Road and was heading toward our place,” Empey tells EastIdahoNews.com. “Firemen showed up and told my husband the cabins were going to be a loss and for safety reasons, he should leave.”

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The fire moved quickly toward the Empey’s cabins. | courtesy Jeanette Empey

Empey says her husband and son went up on a cliff that overlooks the ranch, and “all they could do was watch it burn.”

RELATED | GALLERY: USER SUBMITTED PHOTOS OF THE HENRY’S CREEK FIRE

The following morning, the Empeys returned to see the damage and were shocked to see their cabins still standing.

“The cabins hadn’t burned! They were saved!” Empey says. “But soon the wind returned and the fire flared up again. Then I got a text that said, ‘The fire is 15 yards from the cabin.'”

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The fire came within 15 yards of one of the Empey’s cabins. | courtesy Jeanette Empey

Empey says she said a prayer and, once again, the fire stayed back, and their cabins were saved.

“There is an oasis in the middle of all this burned land,” Empey says. “To me – that is a miracle.”

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The views of the cabins after the fire. | courtesy Jeanette Empey

Bruce and the Empey’s son remained at the ranch to help extinguish hot spots and to monitor conditions.

At one point on Tuesday, Bruce snapped the photo that appears to show an angel in the midst of flames.

“If you look closely, you can see a ghostly figure floating above the tree,” Empey wrote when she posted the photo on her Facebook page Tuesday evening. Since then, it’s been shared nearly 1,300 times.

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Empey says she’s thankful their cabins survived and credits family, friends, firefighters and, yes, angels for protecting them.

“Everything is burned except for around the cabins,” Empey says. “I know the Lord was helping.”

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