The wildfires in Northern California have hit very close to home for an Encinitas woman.
Alden Steimle grew up in the Fountain Grove area near Santa Rosa. Her childhood home was destroyed Monday when the Tubbs Fire tore through the neighborhood.
“The best I can describe it is like an atomic bomb or war,” Steimle said. “It just completely is destroyed. Like, every house, every structure, trees are gone, everything.”
Steimle’s father still lived in the home. He was forced to evacuate in the middle of the night, leaving behind everything except his cell phone and the clothes on his back.
“He couldn’t even grab our cat and just ran out,” Steimle said.
Fortunately, her father escaped unharmed and the cat, “Oreo,” was later found alive.
Steimle says everything her dad owned is gone.
“He was a photographer and completely lost every photograph he’s ever taken,” Steimle said.
Many of Steimle’s friends also lost their homes in the fire, including a couple who was set to get married this Friday. Steimle’s mother, who lives in Sonoma, is also preparing to evacuate in the event the fires there get any closer.
“So it’s just like a living nightmare,” Steimle said.
Steimle has created a GoFundMe page to raise money for her dad. She is also collecting supplies for fire evacuees, which she plans to deliver this weekend.
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