Gina Gulino and her boyfriend were new to Sonoma County, having only moved here a month prior to the fire that took their home.
We just moved up from LA. My boyfriend had just gone to sleep.
Sutter Health is right across from us so we hear a lot of ambulances; sirens are pretty normal. It was Sunday night and it was just ambulance after ambulance and I'm like, "is everyone getting hurt on a Sunday night?" My dog was barking a lot, more than usual, and I'm like "this is really weird."
It's hard to really go through the steps of everything that happened that night because everything happened SO quickly; from the first second that I stepped out of the door, everything was just "go, go, go!"
When I saw the two cars burning and the glow right behind that mountain, I was like, "this is really bad!" The smoke was so thick it looked like fog. And you're just driving through this and it looks like a war zone!
Every motel...there were lines at two in the morning, everyone trying to get a room. Everyone's in their pajamas.
[We watched] the news on TV. That was the first night at the Travelodge. Then we went to a different place. They had a radio. Everyone was crowded in the living room, ‘cause it was a bed and breakfast. And everyone was just sitting and listening to the radio. I mean, for hours. Everyone knew that we had lost our home and so they were very empathetic and so supportive about everything. They didn't even charge us for the room that we stayed in!
For the first four days, I don't think that we really slept. We had naps of maybe 45 minutes and then we were up. We weren't really eating, everything was just on edge. We were hearing the news 24/7 and then, "no, let's not hear it right now." But it's like we needed to hear it. We turned it off, then it was too silent. We're like, "no, let's put the radio back on."
We couldn't see [our place] until two, two and half weeks later. But we kept trying. We kept coming back up here trying to find out if this place was ok. Then they let out a satellite image, and you could see our house - it was completely flat. That's when it hit me. I was like, "our home's not there. Oh my gosh, we lost everything.”
Me and my boyfriend were crying. It was definitely hard. We were not getting along at that time ‘cause it was so stressful for both of us. We've never been in this situation before, obviously.
I don't think we could comprehend how much...I don't think we could imagine that our house is just gone. It was really hard for me. It was hard for us. We were in our pajamas for two and a half days. We hadn't taken a shower. We had nothing. We had no dog food. I take medication; I had no medication. So we were worried about all that kind of stuff.
I lost a lot of my mom's jewelry; she passed away a long time ago. I think that's what really hurt me the most because everything else, you can buy.
For the two weeks we were staying in Inverness, I missed my bed. I missed that feeling of being in my bed. I feel like I'm not gonna have that feeling again.