Houses spared by massive fires bring joy and sense of loss

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — Tom and Catherine Andrews live on the edge of devastation.

On one side of their mid-century style home, the deadly wildfires that ravaged parts of Northern California for more than a week wiped away the houses of neighbors they have known as long as two decades. On the other side, were those like the Andrews, who were spared.

On Monday as calm winds gave an advantage to firefighters trying to tame the flames, the couple balanced their good fortune against the losses suffered by many friends.

“It was disbelief and just feeling like the luckiest guy on earth,” Tom Andrews said. “I can’t believe, I mean, total destruction 50 feet away and to have our house still standing here.”

For his wife, a real estate agent who sold many of the homes to friends on Wikiup Drive, there was bitter along with the sweet.

“It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “I’m trying not to have survivor’s guilt, I think they call it. But we’ve been here 20 years this week. We raised our kids in this house. So many of the families on this hill raised their kids.”

Full Story: AP News

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