PHOENIX, Ore. -- It’s been more than seven months since the Almeda Fire tore through the city of Phoenix and Talent, leaving destruction in its path, and some residents who lost their homes to the fire have at last gotten the chance to rebuild.
“Basically, they came down to us in the afternoon and they had a loud speaker . . . they were coming out — because they informed us earlier that people may be coming down — and the guy was coming down on a loud speaker and said, the quote was, 'get out and get out now,'” said Almeda Fire survivor Ronald Croy.
Ronald Croy has lived in the Rogue Valley since the 1980s and he now calls Phoenix home. He has seen everything that this town has to offer, but the night of September 8 is one that he won't soon forget.
The night of the fire, Croy says that he went to a family member's house on the other side of Medford to stay temporarily while the fire raged.
"The firefighter guy said they estimated that the temperature inside my home was 6000 degrees,” Croy said.
Croy, like many others, lost his home the night of the Almeda Fire. After those first few days, Croy spent about two weeks living in motels before settling in again with family.
“That flag out there on that pole, that was flying the night my house burnt . . . that was on national TV. That's the only time I saw my house burn was on national TV,” Croy said.
Over the weekend Croy had the opportunity to take the first steps back in his rebuilt home.
"When they told me that I was going to get in here I was just pumped for several days really and so it’s all clear now," Croy said.
Old Glory still stands tall at the house that Croy now calls home.
“That flag stayed. And I said, when I get all built up, I'm going to have me a picture taken underneath that old flag. You can tell it's been through a fire; all charcoal, old, dirty . . . and I'm going to be out there — shaking my fist at the sky saying I'm still here,” Croy said.