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Posted: October 12, 2017

Family finds Virgin Mary statue still standing after California wildfire destroys home

Images of the Northern California Wildfires


SANTA ROSA, Calif. —

Families in one California neighborhood barely made it out alive before a raging wildfire destroyed everything.

>> PHOTOS: Northern California wildfires

Margaret Curzon took this video of what's left of her parents' house in Santa Rosa.

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They lived there for 26 years.

The only thing left standing when they returned was a statue of the Virgin Mary.

Her parents said they woke up Monday morning because their dog, Brady, was whimpering.

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They only had minutes to leave, but their neighbors were also trying to escape, so they couldn't get out quick and could feel their car getting hotter as the flames drew closer.

But her parents finally made it out.

>> On New technology giving first responders another tool to help during disasters

She said her father is a mailman, and he went to work Tuesday to try and get his life back to normal.

More than a dozen fires are still burning across northern California. 

A family in California came home to find the only thing left standing after a wildfire came through was a statue of the Virgin Mary.

Posted by Boston 25 News on Wednesday, October 11, 2017

WATCH: Deputy Drives Through Sonoma Wildfire


Christopher Kontoes/Getty Images/fStop

Family finds Virgin Mary statue still standing after California wildfire destroys home

Christopher Kontoes/Getty Images/fStop

Family finds Virgin Mary statue still standing after California wildfire destroys home

Virgin Mary statue (stock photo).
PHOTOS: Northern California wildfires

Jeff Chiu/AP

PHOTOS: Northern California wildfires

Images from wildfires in Northern California.

Couple married for 75 years killed in California wildfires

A couple married for more than 75 years died as wildfires raged across California’s wine country Sunday, engulfing their home and killing them, according to multiple reports.

Charles Rippey, 100, and Sara Rippey, 98, were found by one of their five children in the burnt remnants of their home in Napa, near Atlas Peak, The Associated Press reported. Family members said Charles Rippey appeared to be heading toward Sara Rippey’s room.

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“My father certainly wouldn’t have left her,” one of the couple’s sons, 71-year-old Mike Rippey, told the AP.

Another of the couple’s sons, Chuck Rippey, told KNTV that his parents’ caregiver tried to get them out of the house. When the roof started caving in, she called Chuck Rippey.

“She went down to get my father and all the windows started to explode and (there was) smoke and heat and all that everywhere,” he told KNTV. “She just couldn’t find them.”

Mike Rippey told KPIX that his parents met as children in a small town in Wisconsin.

“He was in sixth grade and she was in fourth grade,” he told the news station. “They went to the University of Wisconsin together and have been together ever since.”

The couple celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary in March, according to an announcement published by the Napa Valley Register. Charles Rippey served in Europe and Africa during World War II and went on to a career with the tire company Firestone, according to the notice. Sara Rippey was a homemaker who loved to play bridge.

The couple lived in Napa for more than 35 years.

“We kids would always talk about what it would be like if one of them died and the other was still alive,” Mike Rippey told The New York Times. “They just couldn’t be without each other. The fact that they went together is probably what they would have wanted.”

At least 17 people have been killed in the wildfires raging across California. Seventeen wildfires in seven counties have destroyed more than 2,000 homes, businesses and other structures.

The wildfires rank among the five deadliest in California history, and officials expect the death toll to rise as the scope of destruction becomes clear.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Disneyland has eerie orange glow as wildfires burn miles away

Chris Carlson/AP

Disneyland has eerie orange glow as wildfires burn miles away

Disneyland is awash in an orange glow, but it isn’t an imagineering trick: A wildfire is burning miles away in the Anaheim Hills, KABC reported.

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The fire, which started Monday morning, has covered parts of Orange County with a cloud of smoke. The smoke and clouds are so thick that it blocked out the sun over the theme park, which is decorated for Halloween.

Both parks, Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, are expected to be in operation, but The Orange County Register reported that officials are unsure if it will impact any specific rides.

>>Photos: Northern California Wildfires

Some park guests reported that ash from Canyon Fire 2 is falling from the sky.

The fire has grown to 6,000 acres and has destroyed two-dozen buildings. More than 5,000 homes have been evacuated, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The fire has spread fast and is being called a “wind-driven event.”

Firefighters have been focusing on getting residents to safety instead of putting out the flames. They were hoping for more favorable weather to help attack the fire. By Monday night, only 5 percent of the fire was contained, the LA Times reported.

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