Fighting A Fire And The Odds

"We're building a dream here," said Scott Lasley, surveying his new home and property.

Scott and Barbara-Jo Lasley were putting the finishing touches on their high desert house, when they found themselves in a hellish nightmare. The monstrous wildfire ravaging the mountains east of Los Angeles was closing in.

"I'm a little bit anxious inside right now," Scott said as he watched the menacing fire near.

Some dreams are hard to give up. Scott and Barbara-Jo decided to fight for theirs, CBS News Correspondent Bill Whitaker reports. Ignoring evacuation orders, they decided to stay. They gathered their goats and cats and prepared to fight. They watched with dread as the fire reached the edge of their property.

As the sky grew ominous, firefighters cleared brush, hosed the property and laid out battle plans. The fire chief barked out orders to his men.

At first, luck was with them. The air was still. But the wind, like the fire, is a trickster out in the valley. It whipped up in a flash, fanning the flames.

"It looks like it's coming all around us!" Lasley yelled as the fire roared. "Holy moly, baby!"
Firefighters race to battle the the fire and winds.
And before anyone could run or react, they were trapped in a terrifying firestorm. Firemen worked in a frenzy, trying to contain it.

Then the wind tricked them again. It shifted at the last moment, spared their house and raced on down the hill.

"Within three to five seconds it blew fire over 300 yards," said firefighter Art Bishop.

"I've never experienced anything like that before," Lasley said afterward. Then he turned his attention to the firefighters who fought for his home. "I can't express, from the bottom of my heart, the thanks I have to give these people."

The Lasleys call their land Baraca. Today they say it is especially meaningful. You see, in Nigeria Baraca means "Blessing from god."

  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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