Couple Is Forced To Hide From Wildfire In Neighbor’s Pool For 6 Hours As Their House Burns Down

by Lindsey Smith
Lindsey is from Florida and has worked in online and print media. Her happy place is Michaels craft store.

John, 70, and Jan, 65, Pascoe had just retired to bed around 10 p.m. on Sunday, October 8, 2017, when their daughter called and urged them to evacuate. 

“I looked out my window, and there was a wall of flame out my window,” Jan said. “We had no warning, zero warning, nothing — I have alerts on my phone — nothing.”

The couple tried to get out in their car, but it was useless: they were trapped. They remembered that a neighbor had a pool, so they grabbed a few belongings and ran down. Once the fire got close and a tree went up in flames, John and Jan jumped into the pool.

“We watched this house start burning and burn to the ground,” John said. The couple dove under the water and back up over the course of six hours. “We waited until it got light enough to walk out.”

They say that the heat was super-intense, and they had hoped that rescuers from the fire department would come and get them during the wildfire, but no one showed up. Thankfully, they survived the wildfire — although their house and the neighbor’s house did not.

“We feel very grateful,” Jan said. “I’m very emotionally upset about [the] many, many people that lost their houses.”

“There are those that didn’t get out, and my heart goes out to those families,” John added.

NOTE: If you’d like to help with wildfire relief, please visit the California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund here.

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