‘Get out! Get out!’ California wildfire evacuees tell of terror as blaze grew

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The Carr fire has devastated Redding and its surrounds. Those who fled and lived describe scenes of terrible panic and loss

Lea Flanagan did not realize the seriousness of the situation until Thursday, when she went to her local grocery story. She found utter panic.

“At that point I realized the fire had turned into our fire,” she said. “We could see the smoke just piling up behind our house. It was enormous and glowing red. We heard a big boom; it shook the house like a canon. Then the power went out.” She and her family gathered what they could and drove into the night, looking for a shelter that would accept both them and their pets.

Sunday was Flanagan’s fourth night on a cot on the grass behind the Shasta College gymnasium in Redding, California. Her cot sat under a tentlike shade structure. A few folding camping chairs and tables, an industrial garbage can; she called this collection her “house”.

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