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Neighbors Credit Man With Helping Save Homes From Knolls Fire

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah – Neighbors in one Saratoga Springs neighborhood were praising one man for helping to save several homes during the Knolls Fire on Sunday.

“A guy named Robert Young lives in the neighborhood. I don’t even know who he is,” said Joe Clark, who evacuated from his home near Utah Lake on Sunday. “Evidently he’s a good guy.”

“[Rob] started running fire breaks on all those houses,” Luanne Markham said. “He was down here until 10 last night helping us with hot spots.”

But ask Rob Young, who was credited with helping to save homes, and you’ll get a different story.

“I think the professionals that were out there did all that work,” Young said. “A lot of heroics here. I don’t think me shoving some bushes is anything special.”

As the flames cut through an open field near Utah Lake in Saratoga Springs, Young cut through the earth, digging a firebreak behind the line of homes on Heppler Lane.

“I just worked the perimeter here and worked all the way down to the horse pasture,” Young said. “Had the wind not changed maybe the area of fuel I removed would have become very important. But luckily the wind changed at the right time.”

Never mind his bad back that’s recently forced him out of his job. Young’s experience making firebreaks and his love of neighbors quickly pushed his own problems aside.

“Yes. Yes, it did,” he admitted. “My wife and mom and children weren’t pleased I didn’t go with them but I got them safely in the car.”

The Knolls Fire had taken a heavy toll on several homes in Saratoga Springs, destroying one house, melting the siding of others and taking out several fences, but Young’s neighborhood knew it didn’t come close to what could have been.

“I want to find out who he is. I want to go shake his hand,” Clark said of his neighbor Young. “Evidently he was a good Samaritan.”

“He’s awesome,” Markham said of Young. “We’ve been so blessed. I can’t praise the firefighters enough.”

Young agreed.

“The firefighters did an amazing job,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to learn how to do a few things. And when I can put some of the skill to help a neighbor, that’s great. And all of us in the neighborhood do the same thing.”

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