A Husband Died Protecting His Wife In The California Wildfire

A neighbor of the elderly couple who died in California's deadly wildfire said that the husband appeared to be shielding the body of his wife.


California experienced one of its largest and most deadly wildfires last Thursday, burning over 200 homes and killing two people.

Fire Chief Brian Marshall called it “the most destructive wildfire in Kern County history.”

The names of the two individuals who died were recently released, and a neighbor who discovered the bodies of the couple believes that the husband died attempting to protect his wife from the fire.

Byron McKaig, 81, was found shielding the body of his 91-year-old wife, Gladys. Neighbor Bill Johnson told the LA Times that, “They were together, like he was blocking her from the fire. It made me sick because immediately I saw and knew exactly what had happened—that they were alive and ran out of this burning inferno and got stuck, and that was where they ended.”

The area where the wildfire occurred, Lake Isabella, is home to many elderly people who scarcely escaped when the fire unexpectedly spread through their community with little to no warning.

Unfortunately, the McKaigs were reportedly “overcome by smoke” and unable to evacuate the area in time.

The danger has not yet completely passed. According to Newser, “The fire is still only 40% contained, and authorities warn that there could be more destruction if winds blow it back toward populated areas.”

The deadly blaze wreaked an immense amount of havoc in the span of a few days, so if it continues to spread, it could spell significant trouble for communities in central California. 

Banner Image Credit: Twitter, @ChicagoTribune

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