Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Kathy's Version of The Fire

June 2, 2020
   We spent all day yesterday in Phoenix at the Burn Center. Kathy had two doctors looking at her and they disagreed on what to do. One wanted to do a skin graft and keep her overnight and the other one was opting for calling it a bad second degree burn and she could go home and heal. The second doctor prevailed and we came home, but we are going back tomorrow to check in. So many have asked about Kathy and how she is doing, I thought I would share with you her version of the fire:

Here’s My Story
   This was our second fire in 10 days.
For the first one we left too early, so this time we were telling each other we should stay with the house… That was before the flames were 10 feet tall at the end of our driveway.

   I put the most important inanimate things in my life ..... Computer, phone, iPad, in my car and drove right into the flames. As you can see I lost them all including my favorite car ever.

   I thought I could out run the flames, but a big wall of black engulfed me and I ran off the road… And stalled.

Another view of Kathy's burned out Kia.
I was running and snapped this,
because the sheriff's car was coming
to take us out and I only had a second
to shoot this.

   Bob was behind me, but when he looked up from the big wall of black that was engulfing him too, I was not in front of him, so he panicked looking for me. He drove right past me at 40 miles an hour… if I had stalled on the world he would’ve crashed into me. Instead, he jumped out of his car and started yelling for me to run!

   I love that man. I can’t say that enough. I ran right into his screaming arms, and we both jumped in his car.

   I was in shock.

   Where can I take you he said? Ken and Lucinda!
I knew they were close, not on the evacuation path, and they just seemed like they would be cool and refreshing to me.

   They were.

   But after standing in their pool for a little bit, it became clear that I needed more than cool and refreshing.

   So then Bob the Wonderful took me to Banner Health emergency room. Which by the way should not be called an emergency room, it should be called a place where you can go without an appointment and be seen by the next available person, whenever they feel like it. Bob had to wait outside, because of course all of this is happening during coronavirus, in 110° heat for the four hours it took me to get care.

   He’s Wonderful right?

   I leave with a prescription for something that I’m sure includes opium and heroin. I don’t remember being in pain, but I do remember vomiting for two days… I’m a slow learner I took it twice.

   The pictures of my leg look really gross don’t they?

   It IS gross. And those blisters keep popping so I’m dripping fluid all over the place. I thought you would want to know that. But I am not in pain.

   And look at my car!
I will never complain about anything again.

   And I need to give a shout out to our amazing daughter Deena Bell Bortscheller! When she saw all of this happening, she called target and placed a “to go order“. After leaving the ER we stopped to pick up bags of underwear, T-shirts, toothbrushes, toothpaste and even face cream!
I know, pretty amazing right?

   She also made sure we had a place to stay here at the Tumbleweed Hotel, as did our neighbor Tom Augerton. That man always takes care of us! What would we do without him, or Deena, or the rest of you who have so kindly reached out to offer your assistance?

    I’m not sure.

   And I mean that… I really am not sure.
I feel so grateful for all of your support.
Heaven forbid you encounter a tragedy, but I want to be as good a friend to you as you have all been to me.

   I feel loved.

   "And I love you too… Whether you like it or not!"
—Kathy Radina


  1. Oh my gosh, that looks so painful, but thank GOD you made it out alive! and was very happy to hear your house was ok.

  2. Thank you for sharing. So glad you are going to be ok after the healing.

    Robbie Hall

  3. Kathy, I am so glad you are ok. Those pics of your blisters (and car) say it all. How terrifying that was. Take care. JoAnn from Jazz (a year or so ago)

  4. Kathy, Katy, Kathy. You should still be in shock after that horrific fire. Bob has written about supposed heroes for so long. Turns out HE is the greatest Hero of all. The entire community is grateful that he was there when he was. I also am glad you gave us an image of what terrible damage happens when fire meets flesh. Even though I rarely get to see you you have always been in my warmest thoughts.

  5. Oh my gosh Kathy. I'm so glad you made it out and are safe. How frightening that must have been. Take good care of yourself. - Margaret
    (Thank you for sharing Kathy Green.)

  6. Anonymous6:18 PM

    Bob, so sorry to read about your Cave Creek Fire horror. I took the liberty to post your blog posts in my Facebook Historic Deadwood.when Site. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Richard Dunwiddie

  7. I'm so glad and amazed that Kathy is not feeling pain in that burned leg! She is a lucky duck to have made it out alive. And you too, Bob!

  8. I'm so glad you both made it! I drove through a fire like that in the Black Hills in the Summer of 1988 driving a CJ7 Jeep with the top and doors off.The Black Hills were on fire. I didn't think I was going to make it. One third of Custer State Park burned.

  9. Julie Kosmata Elliott, Yuma.7:42 AM

    Oh, dear Kathy. Oh, Bob ...
    I have no words.

  10. thank God you're both safe

  11. I am spellbound, aghast, pained, thankful and very humbled about what you two have been through with these fires. We are so thankful you are both okay.


Post your comments