Tuesday, October 23, 2007

You know that hypothetical question, "If your house is on fire and you have only one thing to grab, what would you get?" Not so hypothetical....

It's not that drastic in the case of my parents' house, but pretty close. Like my friend Missy said, I really shouldn't even speak because so many have lost so much, but many people have asked about my parents' house, so here's kind of an update.
I actually don't know a ton, because the media coverage in NY isn't as detailed on the topic as I wish it was, so I'm going off of what I read online and hear from my family.
My mom called me yesterday after work saying they might have to evacuate, and asked what I wanted her to grab out of my room. My mind started rushing. I have no idea!! I did think of my scrapbooks, journal, and hope chest, which has many things of great sentimental value.
Portola Hills (my neighborhood) has only received orders to voluntarily evacuate, so a lot of people stayed home. I was worried, but kind of figured things would be okay.
This morning I couldn't get a hold of my mom and knew my dad was supposed to be on a flight to Texas, so I got in touch with my sister-in-law Elise. She and Jason live in San Diego so I wanted to get the update on them, and her parents who live in Oceanside. Her parents don't live too close to any open fields so they're okay, and Jason and Elise live in the middle of a city, and right next to the ocean, so they're in a great location. She said she'd heard from Jason, who heard from my mom, that she'd woken up in the middle of the night and my dad wasn't there. She found him across the street helping Tony Dominguez (our neighbor who's a fireman captain) and a bunch of other neighbors fight off fires. What?! I tried calling my dad to see if I could get him on the phone, and luckily I did.
He told me my mom had fallen asleep while they were watching the news, and he was just laying there, so he decided to go outside to see if he could help anyone. Tony had a fireman's hose at his house, so they were using that, as well as some other equipment, I really don't know all the details. There were many there, all trying to help each other out. The houses across the street from mine back up to a big canyon called Whiting Ranch. There is lots of dry brush, so it's not the best thing for fires. My dad said the flames were 75-100 yards away, and about 30 feet up in the air. There were firemen everywhere, and a fire engine about every fourth house. The firemen were directing my dad and the others how they could help. They assured them our homes weren't in danger, because the area leading up to the homes was clear of any shrubbery. My dad said that made everyone feel better, but they were still nervous as they watched the flying embers fly across the street and landing in their (very dry from the lack of rain) trees and grass. Everyone was hosing down their houses and yards, trying to just keep things wet.
My mom said there is so much ash falling, it's like it's snowing. My dad told me yesterday his eyes were burning all day, even though he was indoors, from all the smoke in the air. My brother Jason couldn't go to work yesterday or today because their office was closed.
This is pretty much all I know for now. Oh yeah, the fires in our area are 30% contained for now, and the Santa Ana winds changed to a north direction, which is away from our neighborhood, but it could always change back. Oh, and the most depressing thing, the fires by my house were caused by arson. I can't even think about it, it makes me so sick. I get so depressed looking at the pictures of peoples' homes engulfed in flames.
I hope you will all join me in prayers for everyone's safety, and for the fires to be diminished as soon as possible.
Thanks everyone for your concern.


Elise said...

Yes, there is a lot of ash & soot floating around. We are allowed to dress casual the rest of the week because people were complaining that their nice work clothes were getting dirty. haha. Its like no one around here has heard of a washing machine!

But my eyes totally are burning and if I am outside for longer than 2 minutes, I start getting a really bad headache.

Elise said...

Oh and the biggest fires around here are only 1% and 5% contained. They are expecting to have the 5% fire fully contained by Nov. 4.

linds said...

I am so glad nothing happened to your family. These fires are unbelievable.

Suman Family said...

hey! so i was up at eric's parents house all day today. it's so crazy to watch the fires. full-on flames...we were worried about your family, eric called jason to check in too. i hope they get it under control soon. at the altisima building there were crowds of people watching and taking pictures. there was actually traffic on the roads. pretty crazy stuff. i hope both our families continue to be safe.