Young Creek Co. Wildfire Victim Remembers Loss Following Arson Arrest

Thursday, April 28th 2016, 11:38 pm
By: Tess Maune

The man accused of starting a fire four years ago, that burned hundreds of homes and thousands of acres in Creek County, has finally been arrested.

Investigators arrested Billy Cloud on the same property where the fire is believed to have started.

4/28/2016 Related Story: Suspect In 2012 Creek County Wildfires Is Arrested

Angelina Anaya, now nine, was just 5 years old when a wildfire burned down her family’s Creek County home.

“It looked bad, bad. I saw smoke and I was just scared,” she said.

She might have been young, but she remembers everything.

“My mom and my dad just told us we had to go,” she said.

They left knowing they'd probably never see their house standing again. They were right.

Anaya said, “I was heartbroken.”

The fire destroyed everything. It burned close to 60,000 acres, and nearly 400 other families also lost their homes.

Investigators say the fire started on a rural property.

Court records say Billy Cloud tossed a lit cigarette onto dry ground during a statewide burn ban, but did nothing to stop the fire.

Cloud was charged with third-degree arson a month after the fire, but was on the run until Wednesday when investigators arrested him during a warrant sweep on the same property where they say the fire started.

“I just wanted him to go to jail because a lot people lost things and he doesn't know what we've been through,” the 9-year-old girl said. “I kind of forgive him, but I kind of don't.”

You don't have to look far to find some of the damage the wildfire left behind - dead trees with branches still charred are all over parts of Creek County.