SANTA ROSA, CA — This was the Santa Rosa home that the Pingol family lived in for almost 10 years.
This is what’s left, after blazing wildfires reduced most of their neighborhood to ash.
Now the Pingol family in Petaluma is leaning on each other for support.
“We only had a couple of minutes to get out and we were not able to grab anything with us,” said Rina Pingol.
Staying with their son and daughter-in-law in Petaluma, the Pingols are trying to figure out their next move.
They said their insurance will help them from the disaster that continues to cause more problems for their neighbors.
“It was just devastating to see it. A beautiful area turned into a massive destruction. It’s unbelievable…unbelievable.”
Meanwhile, the Pingols’ neighbor, Ina D, and her family have received word that their home is safe.
This was a picture that Ina took outside her bedroom window moments after her family had to evacuate.
“I was kind of mesmerized for a few minutes because the glow was… it was too much and it was right there in front of me. And my husband had to tell me to just get stuff and leave right away.”
Ina was set to start a new job at the Santa Rosa Hilton on Monday, which later burned down.
With buildings ablaze everywhere, thick smoke in the air, Ina stayed focused on getting her family out of Santa Rosa.
“It was actually the only thing saving me from breaking down, the fact that I had to drive to San Francisco. My husband drove our other car and I drove my car with two kids and a dog so I had to stay calm.”
Ina says she continues to stay in contact with her neighbors like the Pingol family for support and updates on the neighborhood.
For the family, despite this tragedy, they say they are still happy to be alive.
“We know that material things we can replace. Our lives are irreplaceable. Memories will stay in our hearts forever.”