As it has been two years since the Tubbs fire hit Northern California, including my hometown of Santa Rosa, I still reflect a lot on what had happened that night. Being one of the people affected because of this tragedy, it will be an unfortunate memory that I will always remember.
I remember waking up around 3 in the morning because I had smelled smoke outside coming through my window. I had gotten a text from my aunt, who lives across the street, saying there is a considerable fire heading near us, and we should probably get ready to leave. I remember only gathering up a few things as I had thought we would be back, and this was just temporary. My mom and I ended up leaving and stayed at my aunt's work, which was far enough away to be safe until we knew we could go back. I remember at around 7 in the morning we had gotten a text from our neighbors, who had gone back to check out the neighborhood and let us know that our house was damaged and was basically destroyed. I remember at that moment, total shock came over me and I did not want to believe what I was hearing. We went back to check it out for ourselves and to our surprise, our house was the only one in the neighborhood to be affected, with the rest of the houses around us still standing, which made it even more of a devastation. We figured out the fire had started from the roof, and part of it was still up, but everything inside had been destroyed and there was no saving it. I was crushed when I saw my house in that state for the first time and a realization came over me that we had just lost everything that was inside including the house I lived in my whole life. Sometimes I can’t help but think of the things I lost, especially the photos and videos that are not replaceable.
A positive outcome to this experience was seeing everyone in the community, including my close friends and family help out in any possible way they could to provide my family and I with the things we needed. Even though we lost almost everything, we gained so much from everybody around us and in a sad way, it brought us closer together. It was really special to see the support provided to us and through a very overwhelming experience, we were super thankful to get so much love from everyone around us.
Going forward, it is nice to see the progress that has been made and it will be very exciting to be in my house once again when it is finished which will hopefully be soon. It was definitely an unforgettable experience, unfortunately not in the best way, and it is something that I will never forget.