Ak. (WCJB)-- From high above, it's hard to imagine Tyson Steele's sense of relief as state troopers circled above the southern Alaskan wilderness.
It's where the 30-year-old survived after the remote hut he lived in went up in flames back in December. He was 20 miles away from his closest neighbor, in the tiny community of Skwentna.
After his Thursday rescue, Steele recounted rushing out of the burning dwelling with only a few supplies. His beloved chocolate lab Phil didn't make it out alive.
"I sat down on the ground for a while. It was cold. I didn't have any socks in my boots and I was just wearing pajamas at that point and a t-shirt," said Steele.
Fresh after his return to civilization, Steele shared his detailed account with his rescuers. He described sleeping in a "snow cave" for the first two nights. Steele said he later scavenged for tarps and scrap lumber to build the tent-like dome around his wood stove. You can see it in the rescue video just feet from his "S.O.S" carved into the snow.
Steele rationed his 30 days of food until a request for a welfare check from friends led authorities to him.