Family credits friend for saving their home from Viewpoint Fire

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Chris and Christine Pirone feed one of the cats they evacuated with as the Viewpoint Fire threatened their Prescott home. Chris and Christine Pirone feed one of the cats they evacuated with as the Viewpoint Fire threatened their Prescott home.
PRESCOTT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Viewpoint Fire forced a lot of people from their homes Friday afternoon, and though a couple homes burned, the vast majority of people returned safely back to their houses.

[RELATED: Viewpoint Fire north of Prescott Valley doubles in size]

The Pirone family is among them, and they are amazed that their home on Antelope Meadows Drive survived. Everything around their property burned to a crisp.

“it’s just amazing. I can’t believe it," Christine Pirone said. "I look around and I think, ‘My gosh! We completely missed being burned down.' I thought I was gonna come home to no home."

Earlier in the day, Arizona's Family we ran into the Pirones after they had evacuated. Christine and her son Anthony grabbed the cats and the dog and left when they realized they were seeing smoke – not dust – coming toward their property.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Wildfires]

"I saw it kind of out in the distance over here and then just saw it getting worse and worse," Anthony said. "It got better and then you could tell it just got a hold of something and it just took off.”

But their friend, Mark Miller, stayed behind with his tanker truck. He not only protected the Pirones’ home but he also filled up the Forestry Service’s tank when they ran out of water.

“if he didn’t wet everything, it would have taken everything. It would have taken my house, my garage, everything," Christine's husband Chris said. "But he wet everything down to where it went completely around my property, my 11 acres. And everything around my property is burned to the ground.”

Even after evacuation orders ended, the Pirones saw crews putting out hot spots that popped up on the other side of the fence. But the flames haven’t touched anything on their land.

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