“Last Sunday, I was running from bullets,” Michella Flores told a television channel. “This Sunday, I was running from fire.”
Ms Flores, 51, had been outside the perimeter of the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas, watching the country music performers from outside the fence, when Stephen Paddock opened fire, killing 58 people and injuring more than 500.
Ms Flores, who has worked as a firefighter and paramedic before taking up her current job as a part-time flight attendant and customer service representative at Kaiser Air in Santa Rosa, told KTVU she returned to California and headed to her parents’ home. She has been staying there while she moved to another apartment in the west of the city.
It was as she was driving home that she saw an orange glow on the hillside. The network said she told her parents to pack emergency bags, grabbed the dog and told them to evacuate.
She picked up a garden house and worked alongside two firefighters to try and keep the encroaching flames from their home and others on the street.
Later that evening, when she headed for work at the airport, she was hopeful the property would escape the blaze. When she returned the next morning, she found it had been destroyed, along with all its contents.
“Right now, I’m in this space where things need to get done,” she told KTVU. “And I’ll deal with the rest later on.”
The fires that swept through California wine country and other parts of the state were the worst in decades. At least 40 people have been killed and hundreds remain unaccounted for. A total of 75,000 people remain under evacuation orders.