Wildfire

Thomas Fire survivor rebuilds Montecito home

Thomas Fire survivor rebuilds...

MONTECITO, Calif. - We showed you dramatic video Wednesday night of firefighters using garden hoses to protect homes from the Thomas Fire. 

One woman watching News Channel 3 recognized her grandchildren's toys on her porch from the harrowing Go-Pro video. It wasn't until she saw the video that she realized just how close the flames got to her home on East Mountain Drive.

It's a home she's already lost once in the Tea Fire, so when the flames from the Thomas Fire came roaring up to their front porch, it was deja vu all over again.

"To me it's reminiscent of when you see footage in a war," said Trace Robinson.

Robinson and her family evacuated from their property on East Mountain Drive six days before the dramatic video was shot on a firefighter's Go-Pro camera.

"At one point the firemen up on the patio here said it's too hot I've got to get out," said Robinson.

Holed up in a hotel and glued to the TV, Robinson knew it was bad. But when she saw footage of firefighters protecting her home on our station, the intensity of the flames intensified her emotions.

"I was so astonished at how close the flames were and I thought my house is lost," said Robinson. 

Robinson says 90% of the three acre property is damaged, melting door handles and causing windows to burst. The flames came just inches away from leveling the entire home.

Despite the long road ahead, she calls what's still standing a miracle and a blessing.

"Your heart stops and you just, you're taken-a-back. I just can't believe that firemen choose that line of work and risk their lives and they all have families," said Robinson.

Robinson says major cleaning and restoration needs to be done and there's smoke damage inside and out. Water pipes were melted and the electrical will need to be replaced.

Santa Barbara County has already conducted a hazardous materials inspection and now as Robinson puts it, it's a game of wait and see to see if the home is structurally okay. 


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