KENNEWICK, Wash. — Yesterday marked one week since the Bofer Canyon Fire burned along the edges of South Kennewick and Finley.
The fire burned about 5,000 acres destroying five homes and damaging three others.
But Bruce and Lorrie Ratchford took the greatest hit from the fire last weekend.
Their two homes and two horses are gone. But they're stunned by the support they received from the community.
Now they're saying thank you.
“Yes we lost our home. I lost my animals. I lost everything I've ever had in my life, but I didn't lose the memories, and I didn't lose the reason I came here and built this beautiful home here,” said Bruce Ratchford, the owner of two of the homes burned in the Bofer Canyon Fire.
Born and raised in the Tri-Cities, Ratchford started Apollo Construction in Kennewick over 35 years ago.
“This is just proof of how much support is coming out of this community is humbling,” Ratchford said.
The Bofer Canyon Fire started just after the couple went to lunch on Saturday.
Ratchford rushed home just in time to see the fire sweep over the hill. He tried to coax his horses out of the stable but they wouldn't budge. He says he was forced to leave them to save his own life.
“I’ve seen a lot of fires,” Ratchford said. “I’ve just never seen one this bad.”
Though the family is trying to pick up from the wreckage, they still have a sense of humor.
“Obviously there's not much to help with right now, it's all gone,” said Ratchford.
His wife Lorrie says losing everything showed her what's really important.
“It's the human beings that are important. It just took me seven days to miss my stuff and move forward,” Lorrie Ratchford said.
The Ratchfords will soon work on plans for building a new home. For now, they say the only support they need is something the whole community can give.
“I just really appreciate the thoughts and the prayers because that support is really where it's at,” Ratchford said.
The couple says letting go has been a struggle, but they still have everything they need.
“We’ll get up, and we'll hold those memories, and we'll move forward with them,” Ratchford said.
The Ratchford’s said all they really need are thoughts and prayers, but if you're really eager to lend a hand, the Ratchfords say gift cards or a new vacuum wouldn't hurt. You can mail those 2475 West 49th St. Kennewick, WA 99337.