For 15 years, Sue Millhollin has lived with her husband in her Green Valley home. However, last Thursday, mandatory evacuations meant it was time to get out.
“The smoke was really, really intense," said Millhollin
But then, it was wait and worry.She constantly checked her phone for updates that her home would be OK.
“But it was just like an addiction, just consuming my mind. Like I vegetated. Like I said I didn’t know dates or days. They all just ran together," Millhollin said.
She was able to return Saturday and her home survived.
Just a few homes away across the street, Malaney Roberts never left. She stayed behind with her husband, a Concord police officer.
“My son said 'Mom, I want to go back to my bed.' And that sort of stuck in my head the entire time that he was going to have a place to lay his head again at night," said Roberts.
Her home also survived, and in appreciation, she made a large 'thank you' sign and placed it at a busy intersection. She also welcomed back neighbors in her own unique way.
“We were out there with cowbells," she said. "We welcomed everyone home. I was out there for eight hours. My arms are still sore.”
Businesses in the community pitched in as well. At the Napa Deli in nearby Fairfield, over 9,000 sandwiches were made for first responders in seven days.
Manager Kyle Barraza, employees and volunteers lined up day after day making breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes they worked up 17 hours on little sleep.
“We turned the tip jar into a donation jar, and people kept coming and we just kept making sandwiches," said Barraza.
Homeowner Liz McQueeney came to thank the deli for their community help and is thankful her home also survived, but barely.
“There’s black lines by my house and my fences are burned down," said McQueeney.
But despite the close calls, all here are thankful to everyone who helped save their properties and their lives.