A Southern California community already devastated by the deaths of 12 people in a mass shooting on Wednesday was forced to evacuate overnight as a fierce wildfire tore through the neighborhood.
Weary residents fled their homes in Thousand Oaks Thursday night, less than 24 hours after a gunman opened fire in a country music bar, and the nearby communities of Oak Park and Bell Canyon.
Scores of fire trucks and police cars poured into the area on streets covered in smoke and embers to battle the Woolsey fire, which began just after 2:00 p.m. PST in Santa Rosa Valley.
The flames had spread to more than 7,500 acres by the early hours of Friday morning, accelerated by high winds and low humidity.
At least 30,000 people have been evacuated and 1,000 homes are at risk, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.
Dave Garvin and his son, Eric, were sitting in their idling pick up truck in the parking lot of Oak Park plaza, watching the flames spread into their neighborhood.
“It came like in 15 minutes. Walked outside and there’s like wall of flames and no more houses in front of me so we threw stuff in the car and drove,” he told BuzzFeed News.
He grabbed photos and other things that mattered to him before fleeing his home.
His wife was stuck on the freeway when he spoke to BuzzFeed News. She had gone shopping, but has been cut off by road closures.
Mandatory evacuations had spread to parts of Los Angeles County by midnight.
Kim Kardashian was among celebrities posting about the fire. She uploaded footage of fire trucks arriving at Calabasas, about 22 miles from downtown Los Angeles.
“They’re evacuating everyone right now, from all of our homes,” she said in one video.
– This is a developing story. Check back for updates.