All that’s left of this California mom’s house are these blocks with handprints
ABC News.(NEW YORK) — As deadly wildfires continue to ravage Northern California, a single mom is now being forced to start over after her entire home was incinerated.
Lisa Wahnon described evacuating her Santa Rosa home of eight years with her son, Ben, as “crazy and chaotic.”
“The power went out and we heard a bunch of commotion outside. We looked outside and there’s a whole bunch of cars lining up in the street to leave,” she told ABC News. “We just got a couple things and walked out.”
She said she had to stay calm to get out. “I had to be a mom,” she said. “I had no choice.”
In the Santa Rosa area, 27,000 acres have burned and at least seven people have died. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department says it’s received up to 150 missing person reports. All Sonoma County public schools are closed today and officials say 24 evacuation centers are open to the public. Overall, there have been at least 13 wildfire-related deaths.
Wahnon said she came back home after evacuating because she “had to see for myself” what was still there.
The house was no longer standing, and nearly all of their possessions had been incinerated, including her son’s baby blankets and clothes, and her father’s photos and Purple Heart and Medal of Honor from Vietnam.
The one thing that survived was concrete blocks she and her son made with handprints when they moved in in 2009. Ben was 6 years old at the time.
“It was like the christening of our house,” Wahnon said.
With only the clothes on their backs, Wahnon said she isn’t sure what they will do going forward.
“Have a big cry. Figure out what we’re gonna do,” she said. “Try to rebuild our life.”
For now, she is staying with her friend, also a single mom and nurse.
“We’re safe, we’re healthy,” she said. “It’s only stuff for the most part, right?”
ABC News’ Matt Gutman and Scott Shulman contributed to this report.
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