SANTA ROSA, CBS News/CNN - When more than a dozen fast-moving wildfires first broke out earlier this week, thousands were forced from their homes with little more than the clothes on their backs. In Sonoma County, some of those folks are returning home, but are finding there is nothing left.
9-year-old Lilly Biagini and her mother were lucky to be away from their house Sunday night before the fires broke out, but on Wednesday there is no home to come back to.
"I lost my (prosthetic) legs, I lost everything," said Lilly Biagini, on the verge of tears. “They're really important to me, they're a lot of money."
Some neighbors had very little notice before they had to get out. Santa Rosa resident Ernest Chapman says it was his dogs that woke him up. Like so many, his house was destroyed, but he is determined to rebuild.
“I'm just glad to be here, glad to have my dogs. You know, you can replace the stuff, but life's most important,” Chapman said.
As families return home, it's not only their neighborhoods that are unrecognizable; so is their old way of life.
“You walk down the street and, like I know that lady (pointing to her neighbor) has really good Halloween decorations. Without seeing her decorations, I didn't even realize it was the same lady. It's like Mars," Santa Rosa resident Emma Migliacci said.
If you’d like to help fire victims, the Red Cross is a good source. As for Lilly, there is a GoFundMe page set up. The family's goal was to get $15,000; they reached that in about a day.
To access the GoFundMe page for Lilly Biagini CLICK HERE.
To access the Red Cross donation site CLICK HERE