Couple’s home survives LNU fires in Healdsburg

Bay Area

HEALDSBURG, Calif. (KRON) — In the North Bay, while some evacuation orders in Sonoma County have been downgraded to warnings or lifted altogether, the LNU Lightning Complex Fire fight continues.

One couple returned to a shocking surprise.

“We are unbelievably lucky,” Jeffrey Hest said.

A sense gratitude mixed with sadness as Jeffrey Hest and Jennifer Franz check-up on neighboring properties.

Wondering if their friend’s homes along Mill Creek Road in Healdsburg are still there.

“They’re all gone. From here on out, they’re all gone almost,” Hest said. “Just an occasional building standing, and there’s no reason… it makes no sense.”

Up until Friday, they thought their home was gone too.

Another potential victim of the LNU Lightning Complex Fire.

“We lost an outbuilding, but the house survived. It’s amazing,” Hest said. “We cannot believe it.”

“We’re blessed,” Jennifer Hest said.

The power on their hill is still out, so it’ll be some time before the couple can move back into their Sonoma County home.

“Look how close it came — four feet,” Jeffrey Hest said.

Hest says about 80-percent of their 20-acres of land have burned.

He’ll take it though — knowing it could have been much worse.

Two-weeks ago — fire fighters stopped by their home and suggested trimming was in order.

“Cal Fire said you need to cut those back, and I did, and I’m convinced that’s what saved the house,” Jeffrey Hest said.

An evacuation order is still in effect for their area.

But the couple was allowed brief entry to assess their land.

Soon, their focus will be on helping others who’ve suffered more — recover.

“Our heart goes out to everybody, and just hope everybody pitches in and does a good job, you know, helping them rebuild,” Jeffrey Hest said.

An emotional process that will take some time.

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