The Kenai Peninsula wildfire in Alaska grew rapidly from 7,131 acres burning on May 19 to more than 156,000 acres on May 25.

The American Red Cross was readying a temporary shelter at an elementary school to help some of the hundreds of evacuees expected from the areas around Soldotna.

Meanwhile, Soldotna locals readied comfortable beds; churches served dinner; and Hooligan’s Lodge put out the word on Facebook: free room and board for anyone displaced by the fire.

When the Red Cross shelter opened that night, the cots remained empty because, according to the Anchorage Press, every single evacuee had found more comfortable accommodations in private homes and inns, including Hooligan’s Lodge, which welcomed 118 people and 25 pets.

(READ the full story from Anchorage Press)

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