Fire survivor regrets not pulling neighbors from their home

Resident Ryan Nelson goes through the ruins of his house to try to find his grandfather's rifles in Santa Rosa, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. As his house filled with smoke from one of California's devastating wine country fires, Nelson's thoughts went to his elderly neighbors, one of whom has multiple sclerosis. He ran over and pounded on their doors and windows, but wasn't able to get their attention. Now he fears they didn't make it out and wonders whether he could have done more to help. (AP Photo/Jonathan Copper)

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — As his house filled with smoke from one of California’s devastating wine country fires, Ryan Nelson’s thoughts went to his elderly neighbors — one of whom has multiple sclerosis.

He ran over and pounded on their doors and windows but wasn’t able to get their attention. Now he fears they didn’t make it out and wonders whether he could have done more to help.

“We’re in the middle of the city, so that’s never crossed anybody’s mind here in terms of everything being a total fire loss,” Nelson said. “That’s why I didn’t kick his door in. I just thought I’d come back to the house.”

Nelson was in his Santa Rosa neighborhood on Wednesday going through the ruins of his house to try to find his grandfather’s rifles, including an M-1 carbine from World War II, that he kept in a gun safe.

He found only pieces. His neighbors’ home was also a total loss.

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