EDGEWOOD, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico man who was injured helping his neighbors battle a wildfire, now needs the public’s help. “I was wearing these cowboy boots right here and if you can take a look at them, you can see that they didn’t survive the fire,” says Brett Burton.
However, families in the area did survive, and their homes are still standing after the Paradise Loop Fire broke out on Saturday in Edgewood. All thanks to quick action by Brett Burton. “The ridge was on fire, flames were shooting up into the sky good 40 to 50 feet. Smoke and wind, the wind, the wind it was blowing, blowing hard so I knew there wasn’t much time,” Burton says.
Burton says he got a call from a neighbor about the fire. He says he rushed home and got to work. “We got the hoses hooked up and I started running out towards the fire,” Burton says. The 53-year-old was able to keep the fire contained until fire crews showed up and once they did, he made a shocking discovery. “Once I got home, took my boots off, and took my socks off, I realized I had severely burned my balls of my foot and my tips of my toes,” Burton says.
Burton now has second and third-degree burns on his toes and feet. He’s also diabetic, so infection is a major concern. “The infections get toes and feet cut off,” Burton says.
He says he’ll be out of work for five to six weeks. His daughter started a GoFundMe page to help cover medical expenses. “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it,” Burton says.
The fire started because of someone in the area burning trash and Burton hopes this reminds people to be more responsible. “We just got to be real careful right now to make sure that this doesn’t happen again,” Burton says.
The New Mexico Forest Division says about 52 acres burned in the fire. So far the GoFundMe has raised about $700.