The following story is based on true events and is technically a written account on what happened. This is a true story of my experience and no matter how far fetched it seems it is true. This story is appropriate for ages 8 and over for its terror, use of drugs, and its traumatic material. You are now reading Tales From the Tubbs Fire.
As we drove up the hill to the 2 stores that towered above the city, smoke rose in great heights. We didn’t know what was to come until we got to the top.
Smoke and ash had flown around the area which had caused a fire on an apartment complex. We parked in the parking lot and went to look, smoke rose from the wood chips in front of us and the wind blew in a slight breeze. I looked up, the sky was a silver-grey and the ash fell like dust in an abandoned house. I looked just beyond the mountainous area and saw Santa Rosa. It looked like a war zone, a fire in every direction. How much damage did the fire actually do?
October 9th, the day of the great fire…
My cell phone buzzed by my bed, a notification. The wind blew seemingly faster than you can sprint, as loud as a crashing thunder screaming to my window. I tried going back to sleep, not wanting to wake up. My eyes closed, the wind bugging me. Moments later, I heard the sliding door just outside my window open, then footsteps leaving, my father must’ve left to do something.
That was when I realized there was a redness glaring through my window, was it a police vehicle?
A sudden flash, probably from a utility pole, got me nervous because I didn’t know what it was. I sniffed the air, smelling smoke that seeped through my window.
I kept trying to go back to sleep, the wind getting louder. It annoyed me, like watching a movie at almost max volume with the screen blinking in your face. My eyes fluttered open, I couldn’t sleep.
My phone buzzed again.
I slowly awakened from my relaxful slumber and checked my phone. There was an evacuation alert. It was about 2 in the morning.
The wind died down. I tried turning on my Xbox 360 to watch Netflix. It wouldn’t work, the power was off.
The neighbors had their window open. Even with my window closed I could still hear them.
“There’s a fire heading our way,” The husband said. This shocked me, not knowing what was really happening just beyond our house.
The whole neighborhood suddenly woke up, as if breaking the Sleeping Beauty curse, all of their flashlights turning on, sometimes flashing into my room.
After 5 minutes I became fully alert. There was footsteps going in and out, then a quiet chatter. I walked out to the living room and saw my uncle, Mom, and little sister on the couch.
They explained to me there was a fire and we may have to evacuate. I was doubtful until my grandma walked in our house and said to us that you could see the fire rising on the hill. I asked if I could see the hill from outside and my mom said yes. I grabbed my phone and turned on the flashlight as we set out.
I looked around the sidewalk, people walked in and out of their cars, I heard honking out by the road. Branches laid around the sidewalk, making it impossible to walk in a straight line. I zig-zagged until I reached the neighborhood street. There it was. A giant red flaming hill, causing enough smoke and ash to make it look like a massive volcano erupting. I could see it trying to reach and tear through the hillside trying to grab me as if I was some precious meat. That’s when I worried.
My Grandpa and I got in the car and drove to the house, the smoke making it look like we were in some Silent Hill origin game. There were no people, all replaced by embers and small pockets of fires. Wires and wooden poles aligned the buildings around us, some barely standing, some completely gone, and some bent or misshapen. Random little fires would be on the side of the street dancing like figures at a recital. Building after building we saw all crumpled and tattered.
We went up over the hill where, to our left, a man in a car climbed up a steep hill that lead to a building that was all framework, possibly looking for something.We turned right on an intersection. The little plaza that had recently opened became of frame and wood.
The smoke started growing thicker and we could only see about 20 or 30 yards in front of us. Then we passed a firetruck and we looked to our left where the house was supposed to be. I couldn’t recognize it. All that street was, was just brick and charred wood. Wires blocked the street which swayed in the breeze.
The fire truck honked and a man was walking towards us. After 15 seconds of the man walking my Grandpa opened up the window, an unbearable odor(a mix between sourness and something I can’t describe) flew in. The fire man was talking about how we should turn back and how it was unsafe. I tried to look to my right where my old elementary school stood. It was to thick of a smoke to see and we had to drive off the other direction.
October 9th, about 2:30 in the morning…
We had to pack, quick. All of the tension had built up to this wondrous yet frightful moment. I grabbed all my belongings that were special to me, my movies and books I worked hard to get with my money, some clothes, maybe some photos, and a blanket. My mom had to wake my sister up and then we were almost off. My father was packing the van while I went in and out taking our luggage. The neighbors around were almost completely gone and we seemed to be in an abandoned neighborhood. As I loaded the first of the luggage I could see just beyond the street an endless stream of cars, honking and beeping at the cars in front of them, eager to escape the flames a mile or so away. A handful of police cars and fire trucks went towards the fire, possibly helping out to warn others. I ran back inside avoiding the branches.
I went for the next load, then the next, and the next. My mom’s car was on the other side of the house so I went to load there, practically 90% of the cars were gone in the lots, only a couple still parked. I tried grabbing my books, my mother urging me to forget them. I grabbed a few and we left, rushing before anything bad can happen.
I drove with my father while the others drove in my mom’s car. The glow was coming from my right, behind me, and my left.
We decided over the phone to head to our aunt’s house. As we drove towards their driveway, they and another family were outside by the porch, ironically smoking. Inside, my great grandma was all tucked in a soft and warm blanket while we stood not sure what to do in the cold, frozen, morning. She was evacuated as well, along with my other aunt.
The next few days were pretty boring, entertain yourself while making sure the towel was kept under the cracks of the door to keep ash from coming in. Our aunt forbade us to go outside. I was stuck watching my little cousins play Call of Duty Black Ops and Left 4 Dead 2 (they almost never shared) and watching movies on my phone. Every time I took a turn on a game and one of them was left out for the round, one would end up crying and telling on me(they were malicious brats). Anything of fitness really couldn’t be done for a packed house of about 17 at the time. Then I got to see the world again.
On about the 4th day I had a chance to go out to get snacks from 7-11 2 streets away. A person was handing out masks.
“Use them for good not evil,” She said while asking if anyone needed them. The sky was a dusty orange and the sun acted as a dark red panel you would see used on a stage.
We walked inside, I got Sour Patch Kids.
Later on I saw the images of the elementary school. It ended up like every other burnt place, broken down. Every place that was burned seemed like a wasteland, as if the government lost all of it’s citizens and then later pulled them back in after a nuclear fallout.
Here I am, alive on October 31st writing this. 1,000’s of houses were destroyed, death tolls still getting higher today, the cost of this fire is unbelievable. Whatever is happening now is just the beginning of the aftermath, the aftermath that’ll live on in history for a century or maybe more.
A Heroes With Hoods story…
Tales From The Tubbs Fire I
This is the longest story written for this series based on true stories from the Tubbs Fire and a few more are on your way. It may take months for the second or third(due to my daily schedule) but I ensure you a couple heading your way.
On that note Sleepwalker II is still in progress with me just finishing up chapter one. The reason it’s taken me awhile to write the story is because I loose interest but within the next year I hope to release it. I really just need inspiration.
I also want to write a side project based on Jigsaw soon so I hope to see it also coming your way. The plot is about 5-8 people that awaken in separate triangular chambers where they must find the way out, a earpiece strapped into their ear so they can talk to the kidnapper. Meanwhile cops try figuring out where they are after a string of bodies are found with jigsaw pieces carved into their flesh. Soon after the surviving escape they meet civilization, but not everything is as it seems because a bomb is planted on their side and they realize it’s only just the beginning…
See You Soon