Fighting an inferno with a garden hose: How one Napa couple saved their home


NAPA — As the fire crept down the hill toward the homes on Soda Canyon Road in Napa on Sunday night, and the rest of the neighborhood fled under a mandatory evacuation notice, Casey and Devery Stockon refused to leave.

Instead they stayed up all night with a garden hose, fighting the flames that licked within inches of the workshop in front of their house.

By early Monday morning, they were feeling confident that they had won the fight. Then, a firefighter came by and told them they had about 15 minutes until a new blaze came down the other hill behind them. So they upped their game, borrowing a pump to pull water from their pool to douse the fire.

The home was still standing, unscathed, Thursday evening, surrounded by a blackened ring of charred earth. A long, white hose snaked across the property, ending in the debris-filled pool.

Where the neighbors’ homes once stood, now nothing but piles of rubble remained.

“There’s no words that can describe the feeling, and the sadness,” 51-year-old Devery said.

“We’re fighting our fire and we watch our neighbor’s house catch on fire, and we can’t leave to fight it.”

The road leading to the Stockon home, which winds up through the hills toward several wineries, was a grisly scene of destruction Thursday. Trees and downed telephone poles smoldered. A dead, bloated cow lay on black earth. Homes, some with breathtaking views of vineyards flanked by rolling hills, had been annihilated. Chimneys stood alone, rising from mounds of charred, crumbled debris. A bathtub sat in a wasteland that was once a bathroom.

“You see everything, and you question: Why were we saved?” Devery said.

The couple almost left as the flames approached on Sunday — they had packed up their two cats and two dogs and were sitting in the car in …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

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