Two Washington Troopers Lose Homes to Carlton Complex Fire While - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Two Washington Troopers Lose Homes to Carlton Complex Fire While On Duty

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 BREWSTER, WA. -- All around the Pateros area, you can see scenes where homes have been burned to the ground. But it's almost harder to look at it, when the home belonged to someone who's job it is to serve. 

The Carlton Complex fire has show that it doesn't stop for anyone. Be it a nurse, firefighter, or in this case, a Washington State Patrolman. With the looks of a battlefield, Washington state is in the midst of a war with a wildfire. Now the homes of two state troopers are casualties.

Sergeant Lex Lindquist was called into work while he watched the flames close in on his home. 

"When I left my home that evening," Sgt. Lindquist said. "I had a very strong feeling that my home was not going to be there in the morning."

Trooper Ted Shook was in a patrol car giving evacuation orders when he heard over his radio that the fire had jumped the river into his neighborhood.

"At that point," Trooper Shook said. "It was too late. So I didn't get anything. I left my house with the uniform on my back."

The courage of these troopers in the face of disaster should make all of us proud to call Washington home. 

"It was hard turning people away knowing that I myself wanted to go home," Trooper Shook said. "But I knew that there was a job that needed to be done."

"We will rebuild and we will survive," Sgt. Lindquist said. 

Their homes now join the hundreds reduced to rubble. Identifying which home used to belong to a State Trooper, a Pastor, or just your Average Joe is completely impossible. 

"My niece wrote me two sorry letters in case one burned up on the way over," Trooper Shook said. 

"It's hard to lose everything," Sgt. Lindquist. "I've never lost everything before. But my family and I are growing stronger together to make it through this."

Around Pateros, even the men on the front lines can fall victim to fire's wrath. But unlike the rest of us, they have to put on a strong face and serve. And for that, we can't thank them enough.

With the largest wildfire in state history still growing, there's a chance we can see plenty more scenes like this. 

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