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Couple loses almost everything in California wildfire

Kelly Thomas just had time to gather her animals on Tuesday when the evacuation order was issued for Berry Creek, California.Her husband Brad doused t...

Posted: Sep 13, 2020 3:39 AM

Kelly Thomas just had time to gather her animals on Tuesday when the evacuation order was issued for Berry Creek, California.

Her husband Brad doused their house with water in a desperate effort to save it from the North Complex Fire, which has burned more than 252,000 acres since it was sparked by a lightning fire on August 17.

They fled the fire and ended up sleeping in their vehicles for two nights in a Walmart parking lot in Oroville, which is about 30 miles away.

Family helped them get a small travel trailer, she said. They are staying there with a friend, Kelly's six dogs and a bird.

Kelly Thomas said her horses and zebra were rescued and her mom and four cats are staying with someone else.

"It's been a wild few days to say the least but we are grateful to be alive," she said.

Brad Thomas found a desolate scene when he returned Thursday to see their home.

"We just had to know," Kelly Thomas said. "It was killing us inside not knowing."

The house was destroyed. He found burned-out vehicles and equipment around the yard.

"We lost everything. His parents' urns, pictures, clothing, personal effects, everything," she wrote in an Instagram message.

She said their insurance had been canceled before the fire because a neighbor had dumped cars and other junk too close to their property.

The food truck she'd just bought was also destroyed.

"I had just paid it off and put it in my name Monday," she said. "Unfortunately the day of the fire was literally the day I was going to insure that also. I was two weeks away from a soft opening and being a small business owner."

Brad Thomas is a former heavy equipment operator. He was surprised to see that his Bobcat loader not only survived the fire, it started right up and was working just fine.

Kelly Thomas said they were grateful to be safe.

The North Complex Fire has killed at least nine people, including a 16-year-old boy who was fleeing the area in his vehicle, according to Butte County authorities. More than a dozen were missing, the sheriff's office said this week.

Wildfires are blamed for at least 27 deaths in California, Oregon and Washington and dozens more are missing.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 40443

Reported Deaths: 635
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah8743155
Marion5590106
Washington546973
Umatilla329543
Clackamas299065
Lane221226
Malheur186634
Jackson15556
Deschutes107413
Yamhill95615
Linn76414
Polk63915
Jefferson5979
Morrow5426
Lincoln50913
Union4582
Benton4186
Klamath4013
Wasco33515
Douglas3314
Hood River2721
Josephine2583
Columbia2491
Clatsop2340
Coos2290
Baker1132
Crook872
Tillamook700
Curry561
Wallowa402
Lake340
Sherman180
Harney170
Gilliam110
Grant100
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 886939

Reported Deaths: 17167
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2904866944
Riverside650561275
San Bernardino609451065
Orange576351423
San Diego53263863
Kern33551413
Fresno30220430
Sacramento24811474
Santa Clara23591382
Alameda22932435
San Joaquin21436484
Contra Costa18273238
Stanislaus17403394
Tulare17317279
Ventura13930160
Imperial12610336
San Francisco11969137
Monterey1115884
San Mateo10918157
Santa Barbara9671119
Merced9386153
Sonoma9016134
Kings817383
Solano720574
Marin7036127
Madera492873
San Luis Obispo408032
Placer402355
Yolo309958
Butte302651
Santa Cruz272524
Napa190814
Sutter182112
Shasta178629
San Benito141114
El Dorado13024
Yuba128010
Mendocino111121
Tehama7938
Lassen7611
Lake67815
Glenn6473
Nevada5988
Humboldt5609
Colusa5486
Calaveras33917
Amador31316
Tuolumne2574
Inyo21815
Siskiyou1860
Del Norte1751
Mono1752
Mariposa782
Plumas610
Modoc270
Trinity250
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
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