VACAVILLE, Calif. (KRON) – The LNU Lightning Complex fire ripped through hundreds of homes and displaced many families.
“It’s hard to look at and I know we’re going to have to start going through things and you know coming up here to work a little bit but it’s just sad,” April Hernandez said.
Many, including the Hernandez family, are now figuring out what’s next.
Their home that once sat on Gates Canyon Road in Vacaville is now reduced to rubble.
It was a family of five that lived here. It was the home where Mike and April Hernandez raised their three kids.
KRON4’s Taylor Bisacky was standing in what was once their son’s room. In the video, you can see how hot this fire was as it melted appliances in the kitchen.
The Hernandez family is picking up the pieces on Thursday after the LNU Lightning Complex fire tore through their home last week.
“I had a bin here of memories from my children’s childhood, some of their photo albums and books,” April said.
April and her husband Mike lived on Gates Canyon Road for 17 years and raised their three children in this home.
The walls that once gave them comfort, now crumbled to the ground, along with family heirlooms, memories, and more.
“This is all I know and I grew up here and I’ve spent so much time here and have so many memories here and now nothing’s the same,” one of the daughters said.
The family says the fire rapidly approached their home last Wednesday morning, they only had about 30 minutes to grab their things and get out.
“Knocking on the door and told us we gotta go. We gotta go! Pretty frantic after that. We grabbed some things as quick as we could and pretty much panic mode because we saw the fire coming over the hill and that’s pretty much the only warning we had,” Mike said.
Some of the things left behind, important photo albums and passed down wedding rings.
“It just seems impossible but there’s two wedding rings that I’m desperate to find,” April said.
Now, the Hernandez family slowly goes through the rubble finding joy in even the smallest things spared from the fire.
Family and friends started a GoFundMe page to help the Hernadez’s get back on their feet.
“I hope that we can rebuild this place for my kids to come back and that will be an option. That’s what I most want,” Mike said.
The Hernandez family is holding onto hope that they will be able to rebuild here one day.
Some of the strangest things made it through in this fire, including a “Believe” sign that once welcomed people into their home.
For now they’re staying in a hotel room, and looking for a place to rent in the meantime.