Alaska man rescued weeks after remote cabin burned down

Video: Alaska Man Rescued After Writing SOS on Snow, Waving Down Trooper Helicopter Crew

Steele said he didn't know how long it would be before anyone would check on him. A flaming piece landed on the roof.

Steele said he was going to stay with his parents in Salt Lake City to recover.

When he went out of his homestead, he saw that "the whole roof's on fire".

An Alaskan man whose remote cabin burned down was rescued weeks later by state troopers who found him near a makeshift shelter with an SOS signal stamped in the snow.

In aerial footage shared by the troopers, Tyson steps out among the snow-covered remains of his home, waving to the troopers in a helicopter, a large "SOS" carved out of the snow behind him.

A fire in mid-December killed Mr Steele's dog and left him with no means of communication, he told troopers.

Tyson Steele, 30, was picked up Thursday in what appeared to be good health at his remote homestead 20 miles (32 kilometers) outside of Skwentna, troopers said in a dispatch. "His auburn beard flowed untrimmed to his chest. That's a very really thought that crept up nearly daily, especially in real cold nights", said Steele.

He said he never had any formal training in outdoors survival. I knew that you don't do that. "And the worst part of all of this - I can survive 23 days again".

Standing outside in his long underwear, staring at the burning roof, Steele started to panic.

He ran back in to grab blankets and his rifle as smoke filled the room. I grabbed everything that was on my bed.

That's when he heard the howling, coming from the inside. Only 500 laps went off at once. "And I worked up into the morning, into the light trying to put out various sections of the fire".

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"Just a visceral - not angry, not sad, just like, that's all I could express - just scream". "Every shovel of snow that I throw on it - I'm hysterical trying to put it out and it's not doing anything". He had a gun but no bullets.

"I only have six hours of (daylight) travel". He knew it was too risky to try.

While waiting for rescue, Steele slept in a snow cave the first two nights before he made a shelter that he built around his wood stove. But I just huddled into that dark cave and I slept. "And.it was warm. Warmer than outside".

He said he next built another shelter from tarps and scrap lumber to create a tentlike structure around the wood stove that once heated his cabin.

He said he was able to ration the food storage that he was able to salvage. "And last night's dinner was a can of plastic-smoked refried beans".

"No hickory, no mesquite", he said of the flavor. "No hickory, no mesquite; it's Class A waterproof tarp".

He managed to save enough food to last roughly 30 days and was hoping his family would realize something was wrong and send help. "Not "back" home, because this is my home", he said, "but to my family".

He started to think about the odds that an airliner might spot him. It just took the edge off.

It kept snowing and snowing, and Steele kept tracing and retracing the letters.

Steele celebrated his rescue with a meal from McDonald's. And then Steele told his story.

"They've got a dog", he added.

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