Homeowners Share Stories of Strength After Caughlin Fire
Paul NelsonChannel 2 News
A scary weekend for residents who weren't sure if they would have a home to return to when evacuation orders were lifted.
The people we talked to say they consider themselves lucky.
Charles Leathers says he is one of the lucky ones.
He woke up at 3 in the morning, Friday, to see fire trucks scattered throughout his neighborhood. "I got dressed and about that time, I heard pounding on my door and I thought, 'They're trying to break in.' I was about half-asleep. I went upstairs. A couple of girls from the Red Cross said, 'Give you five minutes to get out of here.'"
Leathers returned home to find his house still standing, but three of his neighbors weren't as lucky.
His next door neighbors were on vacation, in Pennsylvania, when their home burned to the ground. "They don't even know what they're going to come home to, when they come home from their vacation. They have a couple of cars destroyed and their home. It's terrible."
"The skylight, that you see up there, is a dome skylight but it's flat, right now, because it actually melted."
Dennis Grundy is another victim of the Caughlin Fire.
Even though his house isn't a complete loss, he and his family will have to move out for about six months, while it is rebuilt.
For now, they are pulling out the drywall and assessing the structural damage. "There's, I think, 8 or 9 guys in there, just trying to do it, as fast as they can, so we can get back in it."
While the Grundys begin to rebuild, they know that their neighbors are starting all over. "I'm looking just at this block. There's two homes, right down the street from us. A young couple--6 month old baby--lost their home to the foundation...My heart goes out to them. It's just incredible devastation to them. They lost everything."
Even with these sad stories, the people we talked to are grateful to the fire crews saying that without them, the damage would have been much worse. "Two trucks just jumped on it and that's why we still have a home."
Leathers adds, "The thing that comes to mind is how fortunate I was to have a slump stone and fireproof roof, which I think, together with the help of the fire department, saved my house."
It's not just homes that were lost in the fire. Flames also blackened much of Bartley Ranch Regional Park destroying trails.
It'll be closed indefinitely until the restoration can begin.
Saturday, May 25 2013 2:16 AM EDT2013-05-25 06:16:04 GMT
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