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Dulzura grandmother escapes flames as home burns in Border 32 Fire

Dulzura grandmother escapes flames as home burns in Border 32 Fire
Posted at 4:19 PM, Sep 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-02 20:17:20-04

DULZURA, Calif. (KGTV) - A Dulzura grandmother is recounting a harrowing escape from the Border 32 Fire, as flames began burning her home.

The first time 74-year-old Micaela Quintanilla realized a brushfire had broken out was when she looked out her front door and saw the flames and smoke, less than a block away from her home on Barrett Smith Road on Wednesday afternoon.

“I scared too much,” said Quintanilla.

“She started seeing the flames and the smoke get darker and darker,” said Quintanilla’s granddaughter Michelle Gonzalez.

Gonzalez says her grandmother called her twice in a span of a few minutes.

“She started panicking. She calls me back crying that the house is on fire. I told her to get out,” said Gonzalez.

Quintanilla, who did run outside, watched as flames encircled the home, burning the back of the home and the front porch.

“The fire is very bad, no have chance for nothing,” said Quintanilla.

With no time to retrieve anything, Quintanilla watched as the whole house caught fire.

By that time, Gonzalez had called deputies, and within minutes, two deputies came and collected her grandmother, before driving away from the flames.

A day later, Quintanilla, her husband, and her daughter—who all lived at the rented home—were allowed to return to a home, reduced to ash.

“When I see it, a headache. Very pain in my stomach,” said Quintanilla.

Gonzalez, who just moved out of the home, still had all her belongings there.

“Pretty hard to take in,” said Gonzalez.

The most painful loss: dozens of photos, some framed and some in photo albums.

“Family members that are no longer with us anymore. All those pictures were still there,” said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez says her grandparents do have renters insurance, but it's unclear how much will be covered.

Loved ones say they're just grateful to deputies and thankful that Quintanilla made it to safety.

“I give thanks to Jesus for my life,” said Quintanilla.

Quintanilla says she hopes to rent a trailer and live on the property, before figuring on her long-term plans,

A Gofundme campaign has been started to help the family with living expenses.