RUIDOSO, N.M. (KRQE) – More than a month after the McBride fire devastated the village of Ruidoso families who lost their homes are starting to pick up the pieces. Karen Roach vividly remembers April 12, the day the McBride fire broke out in the village of Ruidoso changing her family’s life forever. She knew something wasn’t right when the road to her house was blocked off.
“The guy stopped me and I said, Well, what’s going on? He said, “Well, there’s a fire and I said, well, my daughter is on Gavilan Canyon where we lived.”
Her daughter had actually fallen asleep unaware of the tragedy that was starting to unfold. “One of our dogs happened to jump in her lap, and she kind of woke up startled, realized that the house was really dark and she said kind of red. She felt like maybe something was going on. She looked out the back and our entire deck was on fire.”
In order to escape, her daughter had to drive through flames. While she made it out with the two dogs, there wasn’t time to grab anything else. “We lost everything in a matter of minutes,” Roach said.
When the roach family returned home it was unrecognizable. “It was horrible. I mean, getting to my house I mean, I saw the neighborhood, you know, a mile before my house, and I knew if they were in that better shape, mine was going to be just as bad and it was a lot worse than I ever expected,” Roach said.
But the Roaches have a plan. Karen’s husband is a general contractor and rebuilding is already in the works. “We had a structural engineer come out and inspect it and he said it’s good to go. Our foundation is still good. So we can actually just start rebuilding once permits are provided.”
She explains why the family is staying in the same spot after such a devastating experience. “It’s definitely going to change. But you know, what, we love our property. It’s nice and flat. You know, we have the hill behind us in the creek behind us.”
Roach says even though the fire is out a lot of people are still struggling. You can hear more about her experience with fire insurance on the New Mexico News Podcast hosted by News 13’s Gabrielle Burkhart and Chris McKee.
After weeks of firefighting, the McBride fire was fully contained on May 9 – burning more than 6,000 acres and destroying more than 200 homes. Two people were also killed in the fire.