Sunday, July 29, 2018

Carr Fire victims in California had no car, may not have known of evacuation order

The Sacramento Bee reports here:

Also believed to have died are a 70-year-old woman and her two great-grandchildren.

According to relative Donald Kewley, James Roberts, 4, and Emily Roberts, 5, went missing with their great grandmother, Melody Bledsoe, 70, Thursday night. Kewley told The Sacramento Bee that the three were last seen at their home near Keswick Dam Road and Quartz Hill Road – a home that was destroyed in the blaze – before evacuations were ordered.

Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko confirmed that three bodies were found inside the family home, but that no formal identification has been made yet.

“They are overwhelmingly sure that there are decedents at the scene,” the sheriff said. “And they have communicated that with family members. However, no bodies have been recovered. 

Separately reported here:

“There was no evacuation notice,” said Kewley, who lives about two miles away. “Our evacuation was a mile-wide column of smoke rotating toward us.”

Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko Saturday said evacuation notices had been given in multiple formats in the area, including reverse-911 robocalls, calls to cell phones of those who had signed up for such emergency alerts and notifications via TV and the federal Integrated Public Alert & Warning System, which broadcasts warnings during emergencies.

Bosenko could not say if authorities had gone door-to-door in the Bledsoes’ area, as they have in other evacuation sites.

He said Thursday night, as the fire unexpectedly and rapidly came into the city, streets were “bumper-to-bumper” with people trying to escape. At one point, Bosenko said, a civilian purposefully hit a sheriff’s vehicle trying to get through an intersection.

“It was very chaotic and people who had waited to the last minute were panicking,” Bosenko said.

In that frenzy of smoke and confusion, Melody, James and Emily sought help.