GLENDORA (CBSLA.com) — Five homes have been confirmed burned by the wind-whipped Colby Fire in Glendora, which also damaged another 17 buildings, including a guest house at the historic Singer Mansion.
Hundreds of fire personnel and law enforcement and more than a dozen firefighting aircraft have been called in to fight the 1,700-acre Colby Fire, which has prompted the mandatory evacuation of 3,700 residents.
One of the buildings that was destroyed was a guest house on the campus of the historic Singer Mansion, 1150 Kregmont Drive, which is listed as a Glendora Historic Landmark. The 14-bedroom, 12-bathroom mansion, built in 1924 by a member of the Singer sewing machine family, was home to the owner and at least 10 tenants. The main house on the campus was saved, however.
A man who identified himself as the Singer Mansion’s owner, Robert Gonzales, said the garage and the rooms above – where several tenants lived – burned down.
A resident who identified himself as Rudy said he only able to get out with the clothes on his back and was not able to even grab his wallet or driver’s license.
“We had to leave, we went down to Craigmont down at the bottom of the driveway because we couldn’t stay up here, it was too much,” he said. “The flames were all around us, as you can see the trees are all burned. So we got out because it was dangerous and the smoke was horrendous. It was really bad.”
Several homeowners opted to defy the mandatory evacuation orders to protect their homes.