Cedar Glen, California All but Destroyed by Wildfires

Fires Rage in San Diegovideo.gif
KABC - Wildfire Images
Forums: Wildfire Discussions
Live: SanDiegoChannel.com
LA Times: Images - Coverage
Related Articles:
Help Pours in for Calif. Fire Victims
Feds Nixed Request to Clean Up Forests
Hunt on for Those Who Set Wildfires
Feds OK Forest Management Plan
Halloween Still on for Fire Refugees
Wildfires Have Mixed Economic Impact
California Firefighters Nixed Water Drop
Fires Test Airtanker Pilots
Hunt on for Wildfire Arsonists
Smoke Grounded Calif. Copters for Days
Gov. Davis Relieves Local Governments
Calif. FFs Remember Fallen Brother
Survivors of 1991 Fire Remeber
Wildfire: Choices Mean Life or Death
Desert Foothill Folks Join Fire Refugees
Crews Dig in to Protect Homes
Firestorm Catches News Crew
Congress Seeks Funds for Firefighting
Porterville FF Describes Firestorms
Health Alert For San Diego Co.
Firefighting System Pushed To Limit
Julian, Survives Night
N.C. Air Nat'l Guard To Help Fight Fires
California Fires Nix Forest Filming
Tens of Thousands Evacuate In Calif.
L.A. Horses Moved Out of Harm's Way
CA Fires Kill 18, Destroy 2,000 Homes
Fla. Helicopter To Help Fight Fires
Calif. Governor-Elect Seeks Aid
Calif. Fire Crew Fights for Home
Rescuers Save Livestock From Wildfires
Fire Found San Bernardino Prepared
Supercomputers Can't Predict Wildfires
Wildfires Threaten Mountain Towns
Exhausted Crews Fight Deadly CA Fires
Deadly S.D. Blazes Threaten to Merge
President Orders Aid For CA Fires
Arson-Caused Fires Anger Residents
Wildfires Cause Fear, Frustration
Fires Raze San Diego, Calif. Community
Calif. Fires Rage Out Of Control
Wildfire Toll Tops 1,500 Calif. Homes
Orange Co. Sends Fire Help, Keeps Vigil
No Way Out When Home Is in 'Firebelt'
CA FFs Forced to Make Indirect Attacks
A Fiery Shutdown: Activities Curtailed
Deadly Fires Highlight Perilous Choices
CA Owner Loses House A Second Time
So. Calif. Fires Draw Local Concern
Devastation Looms Over San Diego Co.
Bush Declares Calif. Disaster Areas
Neighbor Warned Wildfire Victims
Calif. Fires Threaten 30,000 Homes
Colo. Crews To Help Battle CA Blazes
Man Questioned In Del Paso, Arsons
Group Calls For More Fire Staffing
Calif. Fires Slow As Winds Die Down
80,000 Acres Torched in Ventura Co.
Fire Danger High In Northern CA
Calif. Fire Officials Investigating Arson
CA Residents Make Frantic Escape
Calif. Firestorm Rages On
No Help Soon For Shorthanded CA FFs
Fires Kill 13, 900+ Homes Gutted
4 Killed in CA, Bars Prevent Escape
Wildfires Destroy Four Houses
FFs Close To Containing Fort Ord Burn
Calif. Wildfires at a Glance
Calif. Forestry and Fire Protection
Forest Service Fire Maps

``It's crazy. It looks like World War II,'' said Chris Gomes, 28, who drove through the neighborhood in the San Bernardino Mountains on Thursday.

The erratic wind that stoked the blaze made its path appear capricious, with a child's pedal car unscathed just 30 feet from a charred car. The fire took another home nearby, but left an American flag flapping in the yard of still-green grass.

Los Angeles County fire Capt. Greg Cleveland called the blaze, just east of Lake Arrowhead, the ``most devastating and ... destructive fire I've ever seen.''

Wildfires have raged for more than a week across Southern California, destroying more than 2,600 homes and blackening around 730,000 acres. On Thursday, seven major fires were still burning in four counties.

Crews from The Gas Co. roamed Cedar Glen on Thursday, shutting off severed lines that continued to spew flames. At one home, gas was screaming out of a pipe, forming ``a ball of fire the size of a Volkswagen,'' crew leader Loyal Jennings said.

Nearby, four wooden steps were the only remnants of a house.

The fierce blaze had forced firefighters to retreat late Wednesday.

``The fire conditions were so intense, they could not make a stand in this community,'' Cleveland said.

On Thursday, wind continued to gust through the neighborhood, spinning an ornamental windmill in one yard as trees crashed down nearby. Power lines littered the neighborhood.

``If you hear something snap, run in the other direction,'' San Bernardino City firefighter Dennis Moon said.

John Lucas, 38, worked through the night to save the cluster of houses owned by his family. Working alone, he was able to save four of 11 buildings, using an irrigation system and a network of fire hoses he and relatives started installing in February.

Asked what he would say to neighbors who had not been as fortunate, he replied, ``I have no idea.''