APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. -- An Apache Junction woman is trying to pick up the pieces, after last Friday's powerful monsoon storm ripped the roof right off of her mobile home.
Thea Charrette says in the 10 years she's lived in the Valley, she's never seen a storm such as the one that hit Apache Junction last Friday evening. Charrette's five-year old mobile home was no match for the strong winds.
"The roof blew off in a blink of an eye while I stood in my living room." she says, standing in the middle of what's left of her soaking wet furniture and belongings.
The wind was so strong inside her home she wasn't sure what to do at first. Then a neighbor came to the rescue.
"He is a hero, in my opinion." Charrette says of 20-year old Clint Harris, who rushed in to help not only her but also the four dogs and one cat with whom she she shares her home.
Two of those dogs, Diva and Merlin, are large Doberman Pincers that are more than just pets. Both are service dogs that Charrette relies on to help her with balance issues.
She says Harris gently picked up both large dogs and placed them safely inside her minivan. "He could have been bitten," she says, adding that while Harris also carried two other dogs to safety, it was the cat who ended up leaving nasty bite marks on his hands.
"The dogs know me so they trust me," Harris told 3TV Tuesday. "Since they trust me, they let me pick them up so I could save them."
Charrette has no insurance on her mobile home and is now planning to move back to Michigan to be near family, following the loss of her home as well as recently also losing her father and a dear friend.
However, since she, like many, lives paycheck to paycheck, she first has to get some money together. Her biggest problem is Merlin, her eldest Doberman, whom she had to board while she stays with friends.
If she can't come up with enough money to pay his boarding fees, she'll be forced to give Merlin up for adoption.
Merlin is at Apache Junction's Hope's Boarding Camp, which is giving her a reduction on rates. If you would like to help her keep Merlin, you can contact Hope's Boarding Camp at 480-288-2959, or visit www.hopesboardingcamp.com.
Charrette has also set up an account at Wells Fargo under the name "Thea & the Dogs." That account number is 1839798749.
She was planning to build a home here in the valley but now says, "That's not going to happen. That's the end of that dream."