Tucson

What employees tried to save – Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona 2022-06-22 23:08:43 –

Tucson, Arizona (KGUN) — Kitt Peak National Observatory employees are nervously watching the Contreras fire. They had to evacuate immediately, leaving tens of millions of dollars in equipment.

Joe Hoscheidt has been working on the Kitt Peak telescope for the past 15 years.

“Around noon on the radio, they said,’There was a call to evacuate. Everyone needs to leave the mountain in a few hours,'” said Mountain Operations Director Hoshite.

He and five employees were at the observatory when they were called to evacuate. The fire is moving fast.

“It was very stressful because I had removed the overhead crane. I was running a large piece of equipment, so I split it up and conquered it,” Hosheit said.

It was up to them to defeat as many expensive and fragile instruments as possible. This included such a small camera. Hoscheidt states that these are a type and can cost millions of dollars. More important to him was the sentimental value.

“My old boss died of cancer about a year ago and he was the manager there. I didn’t want to disappoint him. I’ve been helping the cover since he died. Disappointing him. I didn’t want to. “

The Hoscheidt team saved only a small portion of the equipment. However, the fire brigade says that all 27 telescopes appear to remain intact.

Telescope operator Joan Flores said:

Four facilities were damaged or destroyed, including one dormitory where Flores was sleeping.

“In the coming weeks, even if it pushes my old dorm into a trash bag, I’d rather help clean it up,” Flores said.

Despite the uncertainty, Hoscheidt believes it’s all downhill from here. Maybe with the help of his old boss.

“If we go through this, it feels like he’s pulled some strings for us,” Hoscheidt said.

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