Husband and wife spent six hours in pool to survive California wildfires


The series of fires in Northern California have destroyed 3,500 structures, and together make the deadliest week of wildfires in California history.

The heat around the pool was so intense that it melted Jan's phone, which she'd left in one of her shoes at the edge.

They got in their cars, drove down their long driveway and were met with a "wall of flames", Jan told the Times. "What are we going to do?" Jan also called 911 and told the dispatcher where they were, expecting somebody would come to save them soon, reported Today. He stripped off his trousers and jacket, and wearing only a T-shirt, turned to Jan and said, "Jump in now". They parked their vehicle - the cat jumped out and hasn't been seen since - and by that point, they were in "survival mode".

A fierce wind howled, embers flew in the air and explosions could be heard as the couple waited seemingly endlessly for the home to burn and the fire to move on. John and Jan said they were just grateful they made it out alive. "And I kept saying, 'How long does it take for a house to burn down?'"

Less than three hours earlier, they had been enjoying a attractive October night on the deck of their home in Santa Rosa with no sign of impending danger. Since they hadn't received any official alerts to evacuate, they assumed they would be fine. Their daughter called to tell them her father-in-law's home 40 miles away had burned down and that maybe they should evacuate.

Around midnight, Giraudo called her parents again.

Concerned, the couple looked out the window when they realized it was too late: they were already surrounded by flames.

A big tree next to the pool went up in flames.

After the terrifying night in the pool, the Pascoes walked back to their home to find it completely burned along with their SUV and truck. Tens of thousands of acres and dozens of homes and businesses have burned in widespread wildfires that are burning in Napa and Sonoma counties.

"Some of them are merely ashes and bones", Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano said, reports CNN.

The gravity of the situation and the quick thinking that saved their lives is not lost on the Pascoes.

At about 8:30 a.m. on Monday they were able to contact their daughters to tell them they had survived the deadly blaze.

When daylight came and the fire subsided, John told the Los Angeles Times he climbed out of the pool to survey the area.