Couple Survives Lethal California Wildfires By Sheltering In Pool For 6 Hrs

A married couple spent six hours in a swimming pool to escape the flames of the devastating Northern California fire that burnt their home to the ground

With parts of California having been enveloped by wildfires this week, residents Jan Pascoe, 65, and her husband, John, 70, found themselves in the midst of one of the most risky parts.

"I started screaming", Zoe said.

More than a dozen wildfires ignited on Sunday in Northern California, consuming over 190,000 acres of land and killing more than 20 people and forcing thousands more to evacuate.

John and Jan Pascoe attempted to flee their home in the hills above the city of Santa Rosa on Sunday night.

The couple had tried to evacuate just after their daughter, Zoe Giraudo, told them her father-in-law's residence about 40 miles away burned down.

"You guys need to get out", she told them, per the LA Times.

"I just kept going under, " Jan said, "and I kept saying, 'How long does it take for a house to burn down?' We were freezing".

During an interview with the LA Times, the Pascoes said that they first smelled smoke around 10 pm. As they looked around they saw all the homes surrounding them become engulfed in flames, realizing they were next.

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The Pascoes had a thought: They could survive if they waited out the fire in their neighbor's pool.

The Pascoe's house and cars burned down.

The couple debated jumping into the frigid, murky pool.

Fire consumes a barn as an out of control wildfire moves through the area on October 9, 2017 in Glen Ellen, California.

Once they felt like it was safe to get out of the pool, all of their possessions they left poolside were completely melted or destroyed. "We are going to get into the neighbor's pool, should we do this?'" Jan recalled asking a 911 dispatcher.

The pair held off as long as they could, but when their neighbour's house and the trees and wooden detailing around the pool began to burn, they got into the cold and filthy water. At 7 a.m., Giraudo asked her husband, "Do you think they are gone?" When they got word that their parents were alive, they broke out into tears. "Do you think I need to prepare myself for this?" per the LA Times.

Knowing they had to make a decision quick, Jan said she and her husband ran to their neighbor's house because they had a pool.

He told the Los Angeles Times he stripped down to a t-shirt and he told Jan to "jump in now".

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