Neighbors relieved Friday night, as they returned home after the Pasqual Fire forced evacuations, seeing their homes untouched after more than 240 acres burned.
Families like the Saldamandos and Cannons were very concerned as the flames closed in, saying they lost their homes in 2007, during the Witch Fire.
“See the bombers dropping right across the front yard, so it was pretty gnarly, thinking you know, here it goes again,” Victor Saldamando said. He and his wife rushed home from vacation in Newport as soon as they heard the fire was edging closer.
Jason Cannon grew up in Ramona, the family home burning down 11 years earlier, this time, he sent his mom and dad to his home with the dogs, and stood watch, “hanging out and making sure nothing else happens and keep them up to date.”
Their neighbor down the street, Gayle Stone also nervous when she came home, “the minute we were driving home today we saw smoke.. it was like okay go home and get ready.”
“My husband was getting ready to take the dogs out. I got important papers, jewelry, cash, everything you want to take out, the few important things,” Stone said it was a painful task, as she was in a walking cast for a broken ankle.
She said they were ready for the worst case scenario. That kind of loss the Saldamandos know too well, talking about pets who had to find new homes while lived in a smaller place during construction. They lost all their pictures and worldly possessions, the only things left standing were their door, a detached garage, and the front gate.
Friday, neighbors watched firefighters go to work, attacking from the air and on the ground.
“Seeing all the aircraft and seeing the DC10 coming in, oh my gosh! It’s amazing!” Stone said
“We’re excited, fireman kicked butt again,” Saldamano said the first thing he did when he pulled into his driveway was thank a firefighter walking by.
All of them happy and grateful for the work those men and women did to protect their neighborhood.
Firefighters will be out in Ramona to ensure hot spots don’t flare up overnight.