Man survives 3 weeks in Alaska after cabin burns down

He was stranded for three weeks. The fire killed his dog and burned down his cabin. Tyson Steele tells Brut about his traumatic experience in Alaska.

How he survived

American farmer, Tyson Steele, was completely cut off from the world in Alaska when his house and everything he had burned down.

He buys some property in September of 2018
One day, Steele decided to give up everything to go live in Alaska. “I really had to get away from it all. Get away from the rat race, the hustle and bustle, the traffic, the bureaucracy.”, he tells Brut.

He found his first plot in Alaska in 2018. It took him seven days to get to the property, and he ended up staying there for a month. He soon met a neighbor, a former Vietnam veteran, and it had been a long time since he had seen anyone. Steele shared that he was super talkative and welcoming.

The vet had an incredible facility. He sadly passed away in the summer of 2019, and his property was passed on to his family. His family put the property up for sale soon after obtaining it, and Steele was the quick to buy it in September.

“There, I started to panic”
The fire started when he overloaded the wood stove late one night. A piece of flaming cardboard flew out of the chimney and landed on a part of the roof that was plastic. It caught on fire which formed a hole in the ceiling, slightly above his bed. Melted plastic started to fall. Steele went to get water and grabbed the fire extinguisher. When he pulled the pin and aimed the fire extinguisher, he realized nothing was coming out. That’s when he began to panic.

He went outside to get snow, and that’s when he realized that the whole roof above his bed was covered in flames. And it was spreading quickly. His first though was to save his dog and grab some of his survival gear. Soon after, the roof collapsed.

“My whole identity had been taken away from me”
He also thought about taking his gun. He ran to get it and saw that his dog was still caught in the flames. It was already too late. The walls had collapsed, the roof had collapsed, and all he remembers then is letting out a horrible cry. His whole identity had been taken away from him. He lost all of his equipment to be able to communicate with anyone.

Once he managed to put out the fire, he made an inventory of his remaining food. He only had one can for breakfast and one can for dinner to last him for about 30 to 35 days. Shelter was a top priority at this time, so he started building a little snow cave immediately.

He drew an SOS in the snow
He drew an SOS in the snow around the eighth day and put together a communication plan. He knew if he missed his regular calls that his private pilot would fly over to make sure he was fine. While he waited, he found a lot of comfort in looking at the beauty around him. He was rescued on January 9th thanks to his pilot. His pilot ended up calling the police and a helicopter was sent out to rescue him.

He had very mixed feelings when the helicopter arrived. He was thankful to see someone but also very sad to leave everything behind, especially his dog without a proper burial.

People don’t understand the full story
People don’t understand the whole story. He spent many years there and thousands of dollars to ensure his safety. Something went wrong, and it is still difficult for him today.

There are many films where the audience can see the beginnings of fires, and most people watch these movies without really thinking about anything. For him, it is hard to see them. Images from his personal experience always come back to mind. “My ability to stay happy, find humor in things and laugh, sing songs, it really kept me alive.”, Steele concludes.