PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - More than a dozen residents in Dudleyville are still without homes after they were destroyed in the Margo Fire this month, including a fire dispatcher who lost her home of more than 50 years.
For the past two weeks, Erma Chilton has been staying at the Dudleyville Fire Station with no idea of what’s next for her future.
The Margo Fire was raging through the area, burning over 1,100 acres and destroying at least a dozen structures along its path.
One of the buildings lost in the fire was Chilton's home. She was working as a fire dispatcher when she got word her home was burned down.
"A neighbor comes saying, 'Erma, your house went,'" she remembered, adding, "We drove up the road here and we could look back and see the smoke."
All she had with her was her purse and her dog.
"What in the world am I going to do? Where am I going? I have no family, no brothers or sisters here or anywhere," she said.
Now, the 75-year-old is currently living at the fire station where she also works.
"People have been bringing me things, you know. People have been bringing me clothes and stuff but I have nothing, honey. Not a thing," Chilton said.
The home where she spent over five decades was burnt to ash.
"One small bedroom right here, then the bathroom and the main thing is the stove and pots," she said as she was looking around at what used to be her home.
It eventually was too much for her to handle. "I want to cry. I want to go," she said.
Although Chilton may have lost all of her belongings, she’ll always cherish the memories made in the home. She remains hopeful that one day she'll move back onto the property she once shared with her late husband.
"That’s where me and my husband lived and where he died at. He died right in the house with me. I’d rather go back over there where I spend my last few days," Chilton said.
If you’d like to help Chilton and other families who lost so much in the fire, here is a link to a GoFundMe.