Man loses home in Sandalwood Fire on eve of his birthday

CALIMESA, Calif. (KABC) -- A Calimesa man says he lost his home in the Sandalwood Fire on the eve of his birthday.

The resident was one of the first to alert his neighbors, who didn't have a car to evacuate with, about the blaze that ignited on Thursday.

"I run over and beat on the door and told them to get in, and we left, I was going to come right back, but the flames were already coming up in the back yard, and my wife's purse and everything, it was in the house," he said.

He said he and his wife lost their home.

"It burnt to the ground," he said, adding that he will be observing his birthday on Saturday without a home.

The fire, dubbed the Sandalwood Fire, killed one person and destroyed dozens of structures.

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