FONTANA, Calif. - "It’s all gone," said a weary Edgar Rodriguez Lopez, as he looked around the charred remains of the home he had lived in for 10 years. "But I am lucky" he quickly added in Spanish. He was fast asleep Tuesday night, when neighbors woke him up to tell him flames were outside his bedroom window. Lopez, who is in his late 60s, is disabled and walks with a cane.
"We carried him out" said Luis, one of the people who woke Lopez up, trying to avoid the embers from the roof catching on fire, as trees behind the house lit up like matchsticks.
Relentless Santa Ana winds carried the flames of what seems to have started as a small fire on the grassy area next to the 10 Freeway in Fontana, first to a pallet yard adjacent to the freeway, then to houses a block away.
Even some trucks driving on the 10 past the fire wer burning, said San Bernardino County fire officials responding to the blaze.
"When you have 40 to 50 mile per hour winds" said firefighter Eric Sherwin. "If there is fire, it’s going to take off."
Luckily, firefighters managed to stop the flames, before anyone was injured, even as embers were lighting up trees two blocks away from the freeway.
"It’s all stuff" said Lopez, who is hoping Red Cross will help him and two other people living in one of at least three homes red tagged. Santa Ana wints are expected to return this weekend.