Quanicassee family reacts to large marsh fire near bay

An ordinary weeknight turned into an evening light show when Lisa Valentine came home from the grocery store Wednesday.

â??Everything was just orange, the whole sky,â?? the Quanicassee resident said.

It was about 8 p.m., nearly five hours after the first reports of a fire at the Quanicassee River.

The family watched from the roof of their house on East Barney Drive, as the massive wildfire threatened to consume hundreds of acres of marshland near the Saginaw Bay.

Down below, dozens firefighters were working hard to keep the flames away from the house.

"They assured us everything was fine, and they weren't freaking out so I didn't either,â?? Valentine recalled.

Then, crews started fighting fire with fire, setting the tall phragmites ablaze and bulldozing them down to contain the burn, in hopes the southerly winds would move it toward the water.

"When they did that it got pretty intense,â?? Valentine described.

"A lot of orange flames, very much heat, if you stood out in the yard you could really feel the heat from it."

Another firefighter carefully hosed down the roof, the house and the liquid petroleum tank in the yard.

"I decided that was the person who had the worst job,â?? said Valentine. â??I didn't want to get any closer than I was to him."

Thursday morning, Valentine woke up to a serene scene - an expanse of charred wetland that stretches out to the bay.

Thereâ??s a stench in the air; itâ??s a reminder she and her family got lucky.