Porter Ranch residents recount losing home: Firefighters 'did their best'

PORTER RANCH, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- People who lost their homes in the Saddleridge Fire say they were astonished at how fast the flames spread, barely leaving them time to evacuate.

One Porter Ranch family who lost their home say the flames reached their property on Darby Street only about 20 minutes after they noticed smoke some distance away.

"The wind was blowing this way so it came here very quickly," said Jerry, who had lived in the same Porter Ranch home for 30 years. "After about 20 to 25 minutes I see things are getting dangerous, so I told my kids and wife, let's go. You guys go. They left, I stayed here a while."

Firefighters arrived quickly and put out a fire in his backyard, he said, then moved on to other fires. but 15 minutes there were new flames at his home. This time, firefighters were already tied up at other homes and by the time additional units arrived, it was too late.

"My neighbor was with me and he was telling firefighters, please let's save this house, let's save this house. But those guys tried their best. Unfortunately it was too late."

"I feel bad. Very emotional, sad," he said. "Living the same place 30 years - it's like a lifetime. I don't know what I'm going to do."
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