CLOSE

President Donald Trump declared California state of emergency on Saturday.
USA TODAY

REDDING, California – A 70-year-old woman and her two grandchildren have died in a rural trailer house flattened by a wind-blown wildfire that delights northern California the family of the woman Saturday. The deaths increased the death toll to six in the six-day-old Carr Fire.

The death of Melody Bledsoe and her great-grandchildren, five-year-old James Roberts and four-year-old Emily Roberts, was confirmed by children's mother, Sherry Bledsoe, and the Sheriff's Office of Shasta County

"My babies are dead "Sherry Bledsoe said with tears after being informed of the death. Friends and other family members comforted the mother as she cried outside the sheriff's office.

Family members desperately searched for the three, as the house was consumed by fire, causing the roof to collapse and preventing fire department officials from entering.

Bledsoe's husband was about to procure supplies for his great-grandchild called him and said he had to go home because the fire was approaching.

Two firefighters were also killed as they fought the runaway fire: Jeremy Stoke, a Redding Fire Department inspector from Redding, and Don Ray Smith, 81, a private bulldozer operator

The Carr Fire, powered by Howling winds grew by about 35 percent overnight to 127 square miles as their fiery tentacles spread to the communities of Ono, Igo and Gas Point. It had destroyed 500 buildings on Saturday afternoon.

A number of homes in the Lake Kenswick Estates subdivision were completely leveled when the fire took over quickly. All that was left was a trail of ashes, bricks, and metal, along with charred remnants of ponds, sheds, and the hull of vehicles.

About 37,000 people are under evacuation order, 5,000 houses are threatened and the fire is only 5 percent contained.

In Happy Valley, residents rushed to load their possessions into vehicles, including pets and livestock.

The Dwinell family, who have lived in the area since the 1940s, has loaded a recreational vehicle with some belongings and their dog. Earnie Dwinell Jr. looked up as he helped his parents grab the camper. It's "bad, just bad," said the 61-year-old.

"We've been here all our lives and it's not normal," he said of the fire. "Well, I guess that's normal now."

Autoplay

Show thumbnails

Captions show