A family from California lost everything after they had to rush out of their ranch to escape a fast-moving wildfire that erupted earlier this week.
“I couldn’t even stop to help my parents because I had my children in the car,” mom Nancy Casas told KTLA on Thursday. “But my mom and dad were able to get [our dogs].”
Casas told the news station that her parents, husband and children moved into the two homes located on the Simi Valley ranch earlier this year. But the happiness they found together on the property was abruptly taken away from them this week when a massive blaze — dubbed the Easy Fire — erupted early Wednesday morning in the area.
Fortunately, Casas said everyone was able to escape, but they had no time to grab any of their precious belongings.
“As soon as I opened the door, I [saw] the fire very close to our house and me and my wife just ran away,” her father, Luis Casas, an immigrant from Mexico, told KTLA.
When Casas came back to the ranch the next day, she was met with a heartbreaking sight: the blaze had taken away everything they had worked so hard to build.
“We literally lost everything… We left literally with the clothes on our back,” she said, adding that the family had just celebrated their daughter’s 10th birthday the day before the fire appeared.
The Easy Fire has burned more than 1,860 acres since Wednesday, according to CalFire. The fire still threatens thousands of homes in the area and mandatory evacuations were issued shortly after it erupted, including for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.
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A GoFundMe was started on Thursday to help the family in their time of need.
“The fire rushed quickly and they were not able to save anything from the homes. The homes were both burned down along with all their photos and life’s memories,” reads a description on the donation page. “One can never understand the true loss of such an event not just material items but the emotions felt.”
The fire is just one of a series of blazes California firefighters are attempting to extinguish. The Getty Fire in Los Angeles and the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County broke out within days of each other last week, according to CalFire.
Casas and the family know they have a long road of rebuilding ahead of them.
“We were all so happy,” she told KTLA. “It’s hard to come back from that.”