STOCKTON (CBS13) — Five homes were burned and several cars destroyed when a pallet fire blew into a neighborhood.
The fire started on Weber Ave near B Street around 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, according to fire officials, Within minutes winds had pushed the flames into homes across the street.
As the flames turned to smoke later in the day, the devastation was revealed.
“All of our possessions, photos, everything gone,” said Dilina Rigmaiden.
Her home was the first to go.
“The worst experience,” said Rigmaiden, “it’s the worst experience right now”
The strong winds blew the pallet fire across the street catching electricity poles, trees and cars on fire. Five homes where burned. At least one destroyed.
“The heat was in my face. My nephew couldn’t even open his eyes because it was so hot,” said Rigmaiden.
Rigmaiden and others living on Weber Avenue ran to safety, but it wasn’t with out moments of panic and concern.
“I just seen a gust of smoke and I didn’t see my mom leave,” said Rigmaiden, whose mother went back to get a family pet, “And I was worried that she died and I couldn’t get in contact with her.”
Thankfully, her mom was OK, and so was Rigmaiden’s pet black lab, Cooper.
“He chewed through the fence,” she said.
While families can now only watch as their possessions smolder, Rigmaiden and others say the fire didn’t have to happen.
“It should’ve been avoided because everyone was complaining about the pallet company in the first place,” said Rigmaiden.
Others living on Weber Ave say they’ve complained about the pallet business in the past.
The Stockton Fire Chief Erik Newman says his team will look into whether any complaints or concerns were raised about the pallet company.
Newman says right now, their main focus is “knocking down the flames and protecting any more houses.”