Gary Orman: My truck is gone, my house is gone. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen except, you know, I was in ‘Nam and I’ve seen a bunch of burned out things afterward where you just bombing, but this was life and it was pretty scary.
Andy Snell: I lost two trucks, a jeep and a boat but the house is good. We never did get a notice to evacuate until the fire was in my house — it was at the back edge of the house. We loaded up paperwork and insurance stuff and memorabilia. We were doing that for a couple of hours before the fire got to us.
Holly McGill: Well, we were at home hanging out and we saw the smoke coming down from Cobb. Fire was everywhere up there. We saw the fire jump the ridge it was coming down and getting close to the creek. We saw the fire coming down the hill more and more. My neighbor across the street his house just burst into flames . Just burst. Boom. Just like that. “Crap, we got get outta here right now.” I just didn’t think my place would burn. For four days I did not know anything. My house is still there, but I feel heartbroken for everyone else.
. Deanne Hingst stands in the yard of the home where she lived with her parents. Her parents’ home was lost to the Valley Fire that swept through Middletown on Sept. 12. Hingst is staying with friends in Santa Rosa, and her parents are at the Valley Evacuation center in Calistoga.
. Deanne Hingst hugs a giant oak tree adjacent to the home where she lived with her parents. Her parents’ home was lost to the Valley Fire that swept through Middletown on Sept. 12. Hingst is staying with friends in Santa Rosa, and her parents are at the Valley Evacuation center in Calistoga.
. Damage to a pickup truck at a storage facility along Highway 29 in Middletown, California.
Merna Scott : We saw there was a fire from looking at the sky. Throughout the day watched it move closer and closer to Middletown- eventually we saw flames along the tree lines and then we called and got help to get evacuated. We were stranded. Without any transportation and the Sheriff came and took us to the casino and someone drove us the evacuation center in Calistoga. The Red Cross provided cot and blankets and we made a little home out under the stars. I had been collecting antiques up here. My neighbors tell me its all gone. Plus I'm a painter, so my paintings are gone. I have no paints, no brushes, all gone.
We did not bring anything with us. We’re going to figure out how insurance is on the house and what we can do with it. Anything that you lose possession wise, it's not the important thing. I know its trite and cliché to say something like that, but it isn’t – it really, really isn’t. If I lose my painting the I should go out and paint a few more.
. Damage to a building along Highway 175 on Sept. 15 in Middletown, California.
. Damaged power pole along Highway 29, in Middletown, California.
Donna Mather : We’re fairly certain it’s intact. I thought I'd be freaked out by being really homeless basically is how I felt, but it’s been really OK. Everybody is just friendly and they help each other when they need help and its been great. That surprised me somewhat because living in the Bay area for so long where nobody gives a darn about else, that was something to me.
. Destroyed carport at the site of a burned down apartment complex in Middle Town, California.
. A Cal Fire sign encouraging local residents to create a 100-foot Defensible Space around their homes along Highway 29.
. Hannah Diaz, a student at St. Mary's College in Moraga, California, who has family in the Middletown area stands by a truck and trailer with Book Johnson, her soccer coach, with donated emergency supplies for the evacuees at the Valley Fire evacuation center.
. Burned out remains of building at Harbin Hot Springs in Middletown, California.
. Melted door panels of a car in the parking lot of a burned down apartment complex on Sept. 15 in Middletown, California.
. Burned out remains surround the heart pool at Harbin Hot Springs .
. The rear of cargo area Luann Just's SUV at the Valley Fire evacuation center in Calistoga, California. Just fled her home in Anderson Springs with her four children as flames from the Valley Fire approached. Her home was eventually lost to the fire.
. Luann Just sits with her youngest child: My house burned about three hours after I left. I just think the whole thing was messed up because they never warned me to get out. My neighbor she would not go with me because no one had told her it was time to evacuate so she didn’t think that she needed to go when I came to get her and she ended up dying in the fire. My daughter and I both tried to get her out . We’re in a hotel in Santa Rosa now. We really want to get back to our property so we’re going to see if insurance will let us get and RV or something so we can get back on our property.