Reporting Anjali Hemphill
DIAMOND SPRINGS (CBS13) — The Union Fire burned a home and through 116 acres off of Koki Lane and Pleasant Valley Road near Diamond Springs.
Larry Patterson says not only did he make it out alive, but he was also able to save his cows, horses and three of his dogs.
“When you get into a crisis like this, you just are happy to be alive,” he said.
He watched as the ranch his family owned for more than 100 years burned to ashes.
“The fire came up and got into the trees and started burning, and eventually the roof was catching on fire, everything was engulfed in flames.”
Helicopters dumped loads of water on the flames as crews worked the ground building containment lines, but the fire grew quickly and threatened several nearby homes off of Patterson Drive.
“Tried to get a picture of us, couldn’t find one, so we got out with the clothes on our back.”
He says he was able to free his livestock before the fire burned down his pastures. But the home his great grandfather built in 1903 is a total loss.
“There was so much history,” his wife, Cathy, said.
Firefighters were able to stop the fire from spreading to an entire neighborhood of homes directly across the street.
But the flames made it all the way to Tiffany Muise’s doorstep.
“The house was full of smoke.”
Charring her plants and siding and melting her car.
“My car is a goner. It’s my first car, and oh well.”
Some neighbors now left with a long cleanup, others left with not much at all.
“Larry’s safe, so that’s what matters. And our kids are safe, it’s good. It’s just stuff,” Cathy said.
The cause is still under investigation.