CALISTOGA (KRON) — Many of the Valley Fire victims do not know whether their homes are still standing.
KRON4’s Kate Cagle met one homeowner, and then went to check out her home.
The hardest part for many evacuees is simply not knowing what has happened to their homes. So, Kate went to get answers.
She met Jolene Monday morning, and she told Kate how scary it was leaving her home in Hidden Valley Lake, packing up her kids and their pets.
They could see flames and hear propane tanks exploding. She ended up leaving three cats and a pet gecko. But they were just worried for their own lives.
“I was on the phone with my son and we were saying our goodbyes because we didn’t think we were going to make it,” Jolene Pane said.
After hearing her story, Kate immediately hit the road to try and get answers for her. Along the way, she saw downed power lines and PG&E crews working to get things back up and running. The hillsides are still smoldering.
Jolene told Kate it took her an hour to get out of her neighborhood because there is only one exit. Cars were jammed. People were driving through each other’s yards just to get out.
Then, Kate got to Jolene’s address and made a phone call.
“Your entire cul-de-sac looks good,” Kate told Jolene.
As for Jolene’s cats, Kate saw two of them. They are fine, and Kate was pretty sure the pet gecko is okay too.
The fact her home is next to a green golf course probably helped. Many others in Hidden Valley Lakes were not so lucky.
Kate was tweeting about this story during the day at @KateCagle. And she got so many requests from followers to check on their homes.
But the burn area is big, and she could only go down a few streets, including Donkey Hill Road, where there were a few homes untouched.