A California couple survived a raging firestorm in their neighbor’s pool as the inferno that swept through Santa Rosa last week burned everything around them.
One minute the Pascos were enjoying an October evening before going to sleep and the next they had just minutes to escape the wildfire that suddenly engulfed their neighborhood early last Monday morning, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Jan Pascoe, 65, and her husband John, 70, called 911 before heading over to the pool.
“In my naivete, all night long, I thought someone would come to get us,” Jan Pascoe told the Times.
But no one came.
Authorities have confirmed 40 people have died in the flames, so far, and hundreds more are still missing. Wildfires throughout the state of burned hundreds of thousands of acres and destroyed more than 5,000 homes and businesses, according to Cal Fire.
The Pascoes spent six hours in the debris-filled pool as their home and their neighbors’ houses burned down around them.
They survived by submerging themselves in the water and using wet T-shirts to cover their heads when they came up for air.
“I just kept going under,” she told the Times.
“And I kept saying, ‘How long does it take for a house to burn down?’ We were freezing.”
How hot was the area around the pool? It was so hot that Jan Pascoe’s cellphone, which she put in her shoe at the edge of the pool, melted.
While the fire destroyed almost everything around the water, one thing remained after the inferno subsided: a statue of a cherubic angel overlooking the pool.