Today, the girls met at the church from all over the stake to have their personal items loaded into a U-Haul to be taken to camp. Several groups of girls were following the U-Haul to camp in a bus, one day early, in order to complete a 6 mile hike.
They were traveling north and near Castle Rock, WA, when Brother Crebar (the U-Haul driver) "smelled something funny". Then he lost his brakes as smoke started coming into the cab at his feet. He tried to get safely to the shoulder, but then flames started shooting into the cab at his feet. He opened the door and stood on the side rail trying to steer while standing outside the cab, but then lost the ability to steer. The truck headed toward the cement median and he bailed out onto some grass and watched the truck as it continued on, until scraping along the median to a stop. He is so lucky to not be hurt more, let alone be alive.
The firefighters had to put out the flames with the flame retardant powder, since there is so much oil involved in a vehicle fire. I am told that a lot of stuff was thrown into a garbage trailer on scene and deemed completely unsalvageable.
While I was at the church, girls were allowed onto the parking lot 15 at a time to watch an adult, wearing gloves, go through their chemical covered belongings to decide what can be professionally cleaned and what is garbage. Some girls couldn't find any of their stuff, meaning it had been trashed on scene.
Scriptures, journals and pictures were the most treasured things lost. Everything else was mostly toiletries, etc. The stake presidency said to throw away EVERYTHING that goes in the mouth or on the skin. This leaves a lot of girls without prescription medications, retainers, and other imperative items.
The other big loss was all the food. One whole weeks' worth of food for the entire stake was lost. Thankfully, whomever picked up the U-Haul this morning felt impressed to purchase the additional insurance package and every last damaged/lost item WILL be replaced.
The girls are set to leave again in the morning at 9:30. I am praying that this will be a great testimony building experience. That this will teach them to show the adversary that all cannot be lost when faith comes into play. He is playing on these Young Women's emotions right now and my hope is that they will all persevere.
When I initially arrived, I expected things to "look" much worse. And I expected a horrible smell. Things didn't "look" or smell bad, but everything that was anywhere inside the van had to be completely sprayed with the retardant and should not be touched by bare hands.
Some items that had to be thrown away were brand new and never been used; including sleeping bags, cots, blankets, etc. It was really sad to see water logged sets of scriptures and journals be thrown away.
Several of the girls were very disturbed by seeing the head of "Annie" (the CPR dummy) all charred to bits...