CHINO HILLS, Calif. — Flames from the Blue Ridge fire erupted without warning Monday.
On Tuesday, the fire was pushed by strong gusts of winds in Chino Hills and forced residents to evacuate to the Chino Hills Community Center. Many were without hope that they'd have a home upon returning.
What You Need To Know
- Flames from the Blue Ridge fire erupted without much warning Monday, pushed by strong gusts of winds in Chino Hills into Tuesday
- Many residents quickly evacuated to the Chino Hills Community Center
- One resident watched from her window as the flames quickly engulfed the hill behind her home
- Everyone at the evacuation center is hoping for the best, waiting to hear news of when they can return
George Dieatrick received a call Monday night around 8 p.m. informing him that his home on Valley Springs Road was under mandatory evacuation. He quickly decided what he could and could not live without.
“At least I got the important stuff, the puppies," said Dieatrick.
He was trying to stay positive while fighting back tears. It is just the three of them, him and his two dogs.
"It’s hard," he said. "You can replace everything, but still, you hate to lose it.”
The Scott family, despite being certain they would lose their home to the fire, were not as worried as Dieatrick.
Anna Scott, 15, watched from her window as the flames quickly engulfed the hill behind her family’s home, inching closer and closer every minute.
"We woke up at 7 and by 8:30 a.m., it had gone halfway down the hill," said Anna. "We just started seeing [the fire]. It was popping, exploding and everything. By 8:40 a.m., it was down the entire hill and we got the call for the evacuation.”
Neighbors were already knocking, urging them to hurry and go, but the teenager has a family of eight and a strong faith in God.
Anna and all of her siblings said that even with nothing, they have everything they need.
"I know we’re going to miss some stuff, and I know we’re going to miss our house, but that’s not what’s important," she said. "What’s important is that we have what we need. We have our family and know that God’s always going to provide because he’s been providing our whole life.”
Anna's mom, Tiffany, had her hands full, as six of the eight family members waited at an evacuation center while their dad grabbed important documents from their house.
They were using walkie-talkies to communicate until he returned to the Community Center. Tiffany said she relies on religion to help her family replace what they're preparing to lose. At this point she is expecting just about anything.
"It’s 2020. Bring it!” she laughed.
While everyone at the evacuation center continued to hope for the best — with news of when they could return to their homes — Dieatrick put his faith in the fire crews.
"The firemen will do a good job. It’ll be there when I get back, I hope."