SAN DIEGO - Dave Roberts lost his dream home in the Cocos Fire. He built it by hand 20 years ago, and the fire wiped it out in one day.
He wasn’t able to see his home for nearly 24 hours after he had to make a run for it. We had been talking to him Friday morning to try to get him in.
We had seen it and knew how hard it would be. The entire home was gutted, the roof had collapsed, and the doors and windows were knocked out, so you could see through the house.
He saw the damage on 10News, and we were with him when he saw it in person.
“My whole life is here and I lost everything,” Roberts said.
He stood there, heartbroken, in borrowed clothes with no clue what was next.
When the winds picked up Thursday around midday the flames grew so fierce that firenados started eating away at the hillside.
Then, a transformer blew, and we had to stop doing our live hit and make a run for it.
“Wind was coming this way [and] blew the windows out,” Roberts said.
He stayed back trying to protect his home and helping fire crews. He said he helped them fill up their trucks with water from his pool a couple times.
“The leader on the truck, he said, ‘Dave, because you’re helping us now, I will make sure that I come back, and I will protect your home’ That truck never came back to my house, never helped me.”
With flare-ups all over they faced critical decisions about who to help.
Roberts said the firefighters were working tirelessly and saved other homes, but he wanted to know why they didn’t return to his.
We saw a couple of the new crews personally go up to the Roberts’ to say they weren’t sure what happy, but they were very sorry because it’s the very thing they fight so hard to avoid.
I’m just glad that I have the Lord above and my wife and my son.
If there was one little miracle at the Roberts’ home, there were dozens. Somehow the fire torched the entire surrounding area with the exception of one corner where they kept about 20 goats, two chickens and a turkey.
And despite all the destruction, the cats knew it was home. When Dave and Sherri Roberts returned, they were a little dirty with ash, but they were there waiting.
“Between my family and friends and relatives and everybody,” he said before pausing to get through the sentence. “I’ll make it somehow.”