Published: Mon, January 13, 2020

Man survives 23 days in sub-zero temperatures after cabin burns down

Man survives 23 days in sub-zero temperatures after cabin burns down

He said: "I stepped outside and everything's on fire". You know, blankets on my bed.

The 30-year-old said he was concerned about trying to make the trek and falling through rivers that had not yet frozen over, and he only would have about six hours of daylight to attempt to travel through "a tremendous amount of powder" from recent snows.

Mr Steele hoped his beloved pet labrador had followed him outside, but the dog did not.

Eating a long-awaited McDonald's and still wearing some of the same clothes, Steele gave an interview to the State Troopers unit, which described him as appearing "vaguely reminiscent of actor Tom Hanks" character in the movie "Cast Away'".

"I just huddled into that dark cave and I slept.", Steele said.

A man who survived more than three weeks in the Alaskan wilderness after a fire burned down his home and killed his dog was rescued after writing "SOS" in the snow. After his family members and friends hadn't heard from him for several weeks, they requested a welfare check. "Nothing. ... I have no words for what sorrow; it was just, just a scream".

So he made a decision to gather any remaining canned goods to survive as long as he could.


In the weeks after the fire, Steele said, he survived on the remnants of canned rations and peanut butter, sleeping in a snow cave and makeshift shelter that he built around his wood stove. But a lot of the food had popped open in the heat of the blaze, he said, and mixed with the smoke of his burning hut. "Especially real cold nights", Steele said.

Since Steele lost his phone in the fire, he made a decision to wait things out and hope that someone would call for a welfare check.

The trooper helicopter crew at about 11 a.m. reached the homestead and saw Steele waving his arms near a makeshift shelter. If someone hadn't come by Day 35, he'd set out.

Authorities located him Friday after seeing the "SOS" he had carved into the snow near his shelter.

Mr Steele said he plans to go to Salt Lake City where his family lives.

"They've got a dog", he said smiling, but with a look of sadness in his eyes.

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