Yarnell evacuee shares story of evacuation, love for her town - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Yarnell evacuee shares story of evacuation, love for her town

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Jerry Jones-Florman was evacuated from her home on Sunday afternoon after the Yarnell Hill Fire threatened her life and the lives of about 600 other Yarnell residents. (Source: CBS 5 News) Jerry Jones-Florman was evacuated from her home on Sunday afternoon after the Yarnell Hill Fire threatened her life and the lives of about 600 other Yarnell residents. (Source: CBS 5 News)
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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Home is where the heart is and for the past 10 years, Jerry Jones-Florman's heart has been in Yarnell, AZ.

"Once I moved to Yarnell, I discovered what real support was like, and it's a really special place for me and a lot of my friends," said Jones-Florman Monday afternoon.

The 63-year-old Yarnell resident was evacuated from her home on Sunday afternoon after a blaze threatened her life and the lives of about 600 other Yarnell residents.

"We are the kind of community that likes to wave at people and say hi to people," she added.

Monday, as she sat in her sister's living room in Sun City West, where she and her husband, Kurt have taken refuge, she shared with CBS 5 News the play-by-play of the Yarnell Hill Fire.

"The people who were out trying to warn others because they began to see what was happening, they were driving down out in the streets honking their horns instead of going to the houses, because they didn't have the time to knock on the houses. They were honking their horns, saying 'Get out, get out,'" she added.

According to Jerry Jones-Florman, the fire had been moving slowly and away from Yarnell, when suddenly the Prescott winds pumped 40-mph gusts onto the fire, causing a whirlwind of flames.

"It (fire) just 'boom' knocked up into the sky and over the tops of those men and others that did actually make it out. Then it just raged through Yarnell. It was a firestorm," she said.

Jerry Jones-Florman is sure her home is among the 50 structures that have been destroyed by the fire and adds that her heart is with those 19 brave firefighters who went into the blaze and never made it out alive.

"Gratitude is the name of the game. We will all be remembering them with gratitude in our hearts," she said. "That's a job that not many of us are willing to do."

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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