SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA) — Out of 45 homes threatened by the Little Mountain fire that broke out Monday in San Bernardino, firefighters were able to save 37 of them — but a family of four suffered smoke inhalation and minor burn injuries as they rushed to escape from their burning home.
“Everything was on fire,” Chris, a neighbor, said. “All of the trees, all of the shrubs. The palm trees were like matchsticks.”
As the fire burned up the hill behind her home, Chris helped a 93-year-old neighbor get safely out of her home — where the front door was already on fire. She then grabbed a garden host and began fighting the fire that had spread to her roof as flames torched nearby power lines, dropping live wires across her front yard.
“It was like sparkling,” she said.
At that point, firefighters ordered Chris to stay back for her own safety.
“So I did,” she said. “I stayed back there with my little weenie hose, and I just tried to do what I could.”
Her home was one of the six that were damaged but otherwise spared by the wind-driven flames. Two other homes were red-tagged as uninhabitable.
The man who lived in the home with the most extensive damage said that hot embers were raining down from nearby palm trees as he rescued two young children from the home, sliding down a steep hill with them to escape the flames.
The second red-tagged home belonged to a woman named Cher, who friends said is a sweet and loving person who lost an animal in the fire. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help her recover from the fire.
“Luckily nobody died,” Chris said. “Everybody came out OK.”
The power was still out Tuesday night, but many people allowed to return to their homes were using generators to keep the lights on.
The cause of the fire was still under investigation.