The ravaging wildfires that swept through Oregon claimed the lives of a 12-year-old boy, Wyatte Tofte and his 71-year-old grandmother, Peggy Mosso. As the fire quickly rushed through the family’s house, Wyatte and Peggy were left running for their lives along with the other family members after the flames engulfed their home at North Fork Road near Lyons.
While the mother and grandson did not make it, Wyatt’s mother was left critically injured and was taken to the Legacy Emanuel Hospital Burn Center in Portland after surviving the horrifying incident, according to The Statesman Journal.
It was during the afternoon hours of Tuesday, September 8, 2020, when the family saw the Santiam Canyon wildfire swiftly inching closer and closer towards their home. Then, Wyatt and his dog were reported to have been missing before they were finally found on Wednesday, September 9, after the Marion County Sheriff’s Office launched a search.
Before he knew what happened to his boy, Wyatt’s father, Chris Tofte said while he was missing, “He means everything. My family means everything to me. I can’t do anything without knowing where he is at and what’s going on,” as quoted by KATU.
Once the fire had receded, Chris went back to the area where his home was and that’s when he found the body of his wife.
After firefighters and others searching for the boy made their way through the fallen debris, they found a vehicle with the bodies of Wyatt as well as his dog inside it.
The body of the second victim, Wyatt’s grandmother was also found during the search, reported KOIN. Not long before the day she lost her life, the grandmother had taken a fall and broke her leg, which would have made things harder for her to escape from the raging fire, according to the information revealed by a reporter, Kellee Azar.
Communities in the Santiam Canyon area have been grappling over the situation of the wildfires which were aggravated by the dry winds that have been blowing since Monday, September 7. The fires have now claimed Wyatt and Peggy as two of their victims.
During a press conference, Governor Kate Brown mentioned that there were 35 wildfires in the state of Oregon at that moment and said, according to People, “Unfortunately, we are not getting any relief from the weather conditions. Winds continue to feed these fires and push them into our towns and cities.”
The daughter of Peggy and aunt to Wytth, Lonnie Bertalotto, wrote on Facebook and said, “The Lions Head fire took the life of many people today including my mom Peggy Mosso
and nephew Wyatt Tofte. It also left my sister seriously burned and in Legacy ICU. Don’t take anything in life for granted and make the best of everyday.”
Wyatt’s family established the Enchanted Forest amusement park which is along the Interstate 5 north of Salem. The boy’s uncle revealed that Wyatt was the great-grandson of park’s creator, Roger Tofte.
The Facebook page for the family theme park had confirmed the deaths of Wyatt and his grandmother whilst also remembering them for how loved they were. “We are devastated to confirm that Wyatt Tofte has not survived,” the post by Enchanted Forest said. “He was found a short while ago. Wyatt was Roger’s Great Grandson and is loved and adored by all of his family and friends.”
Talking about Peggy, the post went on to say, “His grandmother, Peggy Mosso, was also taken. She was also a loved and important member of our extended family. We ask for privacy and love right now.”