Dramatic footage shows the moment Alaska authorities rescue a 30-year-old man who was stranded outside in the middle of the wilderness for at least 22 days in subzero temperatures after his cabin blew up because of an accidental fire.
Tyson Steele, a homesteader from Utah, wrote ‘SOS’ in large letters in the snow so that Alaska State Troopers flying overhead by helicopter spotted on Thursday. The video showing the rescue shows Steele frantically waving his arms in the air as the chopper descends down on an area around 20 miles outside of Skwentna.
The state troopers could only see Steele by helicopter since he had been stranded in an area that was not accessible by roadway. He has told how he ate peanut butter and pineapple and built a makeshift cabin to survive.
Steele had not been heard from in weeks, and family and friends asked authorities to perform a welfare check. He told state troopers that he doesn’t remember if his cabin caught fire on December 17 or 18 - meaning he was stranded for either 22 or 23 days.
‘It started with a pretty hasty mistake,’ Steele said. ‘My woodstove is very, very old. The mistake I made, I got hasty and I put a big piece of cardboard in the stove to start the fire. ‘Which I knew was a problem, I’ve had woodstoves all my life. I knew that you don’t do that. ‘So, it sent a spark out through the chimney which landed on the roof.’
The spark eventually made the roof catch fire. ‘There’s fiery drips of plastic coming through the roof above me,’ Steele recalls. ‘So, I go outside to pick up some snow and I just see that the whole roof’s on fire.’
Steele quickly threw on a pair of boots while wearing no socks, pulled up his long johns, and put on a heavy wool sweater. He then sees the cabin go up in flames. Steele then remembered that his dog, a six-year-old chocolate lab, was inside. His six-year-old chocolate lab, Phil, died in the blaze