ARLINGTON, Wash. — After the mudslide hit the Oso area last Saturday, a helicopter crew that was training in the area moved in to help and spotted a child in the debris.
“We have no clue how he ended up there by himself,” said Randy Fay of Snohomish County Fire, one of the first to get there. “He was out in the middle of nowhere.”
Four-year-old Jacob was reportedly on the second floor of his family’s home when the slide hit. Perhaps that’s how he survived. Rescuers knew they had little time to get them out.
“There were two men who live there who had seen him and they were trying to make their way to him on the ground by throwing debris down and walking on it — but it was all sinking,” Fay said.
“When we first tried to get him, he had pants on but they were down around his ankles. So when we pulled him out of the mud, his pants came off.”
Traumatized, hypothermic and shivering, baby Jacob was going to be OK. He was one of 11 people rescued on the day of the mudslide.
His father Bill, his 2-year-old sister Brooke, 5-year-old sister Kaylee and 13-year-old brother Joe Joe are still missing.
Five days later, it’s still hard for crew chief Fay.
“Well, I’ll cry so maybe that’s not a good idea.”