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.

Cases: 174501

Reported Deaths: 2460
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah34800568
Washington23412229
Marion20116299
Clackamas15311204
Lane11554144
Jackson9904127
Umatilla796883
Deschutes708272
Linn414263
Yamhill408775
Klamath345259
Polk342952
Malheur342758
Josephine305462
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Jefferson206432
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Lake4137
Grant4064
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Wallowa1575
Sherman570
Gilliam561
Wheeler251
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 3716579

Reported Deaths: 60994
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122864123628
Riverside2972154525
San Bernardino2945774550
San Diego2748113674
Orange2688694891
Santa Clara1169712013
Kern1078251322
Sacramento1010581646
Fresno1005001643
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San Joaquin714311334
Contra Costa66927782
Stanislaus603831028
Tulare49383830
Monterey43267357
San Mateo41107560
San Francisco35993517
Santa Barbara33863446
Solano31875239
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Sonoma29679311
Imperial27962719
Kings22766245
Placer21751283
San Luis Obispo20917256
Madera16250239
Santa Cruz15554204
Marin13860226
Yolo13559199
Shasta11677217
Butte11549196
El Dorado9719109
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Sutter9268109
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San Benito598263
Lassen566924
Tehama543056
Nevada444775
Tuolumne406664
Mendocino398747
Amador362151
Humboldt358737
Lake340643
Glenn235525
Colusa219816
Calaveras205551
Siskiyou194021
Inyo141738
Del Norte12747
Mono12734
Plumas6906
Modoc4884
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Trinity3985
Sierra1100
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