SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (KABC) --Santa Clarita residents say the Sand Fire flames were so violent and fast, they barely made it out alive.
"When it came down, it was just such a vengeance, and it was just screaming down the hills," described Kara Franklin, who lives in the Iron Canyon area of Santa Clarita.
MORE: Sand Fire scorches 33,000 acres; thousands evacuated in Northern LA County
Franklin said her neighbor lost his life trying to escape flames that engulfed his car and destroyed his home.
"It's so surreal to watch the fire come over. Now we see the situation. Now that I'm up here, I can really see what happened and probably what was going thought his mind," Franklin said.
MORE: Latest evacuations, road closures, shelter updates for Sand Fire
Franklin said her neighbor and his girlfriend, who survived the fire, lived in their home for more than 25 years. When the winds shifted, the entire neighborhood was frantically trying to get to safety.
"The wind came so fast. I was trying to get my horse and my donkey, that have never been trailered, they just went right into this trailer," Franklin described. "The heat was on our back. It just came so fast. It was just violent. It was a vengeance. It was amazing."
The fast-moving fire raced through the canyon, destroying everything in its path.
"I saw those flames," recalled Bill Pugliese, a Sand Canyon resident. "If the wind is going uphill, forget about it. There's no way you can outrun that."
Some homes in the Iron Canyon area are still smoldering. Many are barely recognizable. All that is left are remnants and memories.
Residents are grieving for their neighbors who lost so much and say they are thankful that they were spared.
"This is Iron Canyon. We're in a bowl that, at any moment, can go off," Franklin said.