Firefighters are making good progress on the Gladiator Fire. It is now 40% contained.
After almost two weeks of anxious waiting, full-time residents of Crown King were allowed to go back to their homes Friday.
Residents said even on their drive into town they could see how close the Gladiator fire had got to their community.
However, the ash and burnt earth was not enough to dampen their spirits as they finally saw their homes.
"It was like being able to breathe again. It was kind of like you were holding your breath the whole time, and you could take a real full breath," said Becky Tucker, a Crown King resident.
Around the community, fire crews were still set up, making sure fire lines were holding even through the gusty winds.
Tucker said seeing her home still standing was priceless. However, while it was untouched by flames, it did suffer the effects of not having any power.
"We had a pretty stinky refrigerator. We have a refrigerator upstairs and downstairs, and the minute we opened the door it smelled. So we cleaned them out right away," said Tucker.
Residents are hoping a lot of the cleanup will be completed by Monday. Crown King is a popular place for people to visit on Memorial Day, so residents want to be ready when guests arrive. To make that happen, the community is pulling together in true Crown King style.
"Immediately everyone in the community was going up to others and saying, 'I have a truck if you need a truck, if you need this and if you need that.' So you know they thought about what they needed to do, and then the very next thought was helping their neighbor," said Tucker.
Copyright 2012 CBS5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Thursday, April 24 2014 8:05 PM EDT2014-04-25 00:05:57 GMT
Michael Phelps is coming out of retirement, and his first event on the road back to glory is right here in the Valley. The 22-time Olympic medalist will compete in the Arena Grand Prix April 24-26, atMore >
Michael Phelps said in Mesa on Wednesday his love of swimming and thirst for competition led him to come out of retirement.More >
Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:42 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:42:05 GMT
Five top employees have been fired from Arizona's new child welfare agency. Director Charles Flanagan said these workers were responsible for the internal process that led to more than 6,500 abuse andMore >
Director Charles Flanagan said these workers were responsible for the internal process that led to more than 6,500 abuse and neglect cases being closed without investigations.More >
Thursday, April 24 2014 7:25 AM EDT2014-04-24 11:25:54 GMT
The pictures strewn about Ava Boyce's house are a constant but pleasant reminder of the "angel" she said she had for 18 years."He never got in trouble, he never lied," said Boyce, talking about her lateMore >
The pictures strewn about Ava Boyce's house are a constant but pleasant reminder of the "angel" she said she had for 18 years.More >
Thursday, April 24 2014 8:19 AM EDT2014-04-24 12:19:18 GMT
Five fired top level social workers are banding together and fighting to clear their names. This comes after a Department of Public Safety investigation held them responsible for creating a system whereMore >
Five fired top level social workers are banding together and fighting to clear their names. More >