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Family Has Fond Memories Of Only House Destroyed In Knolls Fire

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah – The Knolls Fire in Saratoga Springs ripped through Lake Mountain last weekend, damaging several homes and destroying one.

Jack and Pauline Hailes purchased the lakeside home in the mid-1980s.

“It was a perfect place,” Pauline Hailes said. “It was our lake house, and to see it all gone made me gasp.”

Hailes and her daughter surveyed the charred remains Monday.

“We went there to see … and nothing. Not any of the boards or anything. Just the foundation was left. It was a shocker,” Hailes said.

Winds more than 50 mph fanned the Knolls Fire Sunday and forced officials to evacuate more than 3,000 people as flames approached homes. Chopper 5 showed how close the fire came to homes.

Hailes said when they purchased the house, Redwood Road was merely a back road.

“There were no traffic lights. There were no neighborhoods. Maybe one stop sign. We have seen many changes. And we made beautiful memories along the way,” she said.

The large lake house was a gathering spot for holidays — even weddings.

“I could sit down 60 people for dinner at that house in the recreation hall above the garage, no trouble at all,” Hailes said with spirit in her voice.

Hailes and her husband, who passed away two years ago, would spend time together at the home.

“Jack would sit out on the deck and watch the boats on the lake,” Hailes said. “We all liked it there, but he loved it.”

Hailes spoke of generations filled with memories. She said her six children, 14 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren will never forget the joy those walls held.

“Those walls are gone now, but I am going to live with what I got. I am going to be grateful,” Hailes said.

The family said it does not plan to rebuild the home.

“You must learn to roll with the problems life throws and survive them,” Hailes said. “I am going to count my blessings.”

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