MURRIETA (CBS) — The woman whose home was destroyed in a brush fire near Murrieta Wednesday is speaking out about her devastating loss.
The blaze, dubbed the “Volcano Fire,” burned Sherrie Snyder’s two-story house in the La Cresta area into a pile of ashes.
The fire started around 11:30 a.m. on Tenaja Road and Vio Volcano. It burned 400 acres and took more than 300 firefighters, 39 engines, 7 helicopters, 11 hand crews, and 3 bulldozers to try to extinguish it.
As of 10:20 p.m., the fire is 75 percent contained, with full containment expected by Thursday morning.
Snyder lived in her home for 23 years, where she raised six children and six grandchildren.
She said the family was in the house when they saw the fire approaching.
“We were there and we had to leave and I couldn’t grab anything,” she said. “Then the wind picked up, it started going through the tunnel, and it was heading towards our home.”
Snyder said the family is going to salvage anything they can, and they’re not going to let the blaze extinguish their spirit.
“I don’t want to let this whole thing engulf me. We’re a strong family. We’re close and we’ll figure it out,” Snyder said.
Firefighters, however, reunited the family with priceless possessions.
“The fire department is wonderful. They grabbed my photo albums… I have so many photo albums,” Snyder said.
Gil Gagnon’s family lives down the street from the Snyder’s. They voluntarily evacuated and are thankful their home wasn’t damaged.
“It’s always scary and we feel sorry for anybody who lost anything, even if it’s just landscaping. You put your heart and soul into these properties,” said Gagnon.
Investigators determined that motorized equipment used to clear brush accidentally started the fire.