California Wildfires: Grandfather Mourns Wife, 2 Great-Grandchildren Killed

Playing California Wildfire Claims Lives of 2 Children and Their Great-Grandmother

A California man is mourning his wife and two great-grandchildren who were killed in one of the wildfires spreading throughout the northern part of the state. 

Melody Bledsoe, 70, and her two great-grandchildren, ages 5 and 4, died when the Carr Fire, one of nine major wildfires burning across California, engulfed their home. Ed Bledsoe identified his family members Saturday.

"I was only gone about 15 minutes when my wife called and said, 'You gotta get here. The fire's coming up the hill,'" Bledsoe told CBS News.

The grandfather said he had no idea his home was in danger when he left his wife and two great-grandchildren, James and Emily Roberts, at home to run an errand.

"I was talking to my little grandson on the phone — he was saying, 'Grandpa, please, you gotta come and help us. The fire's at the back door,'" Bledsoe told the station. "I said, 'I'm right by you, honey, just hold on. Grandpa's coming.'"

Bledsoe said the road to his home was blocked with cars and the flames prevented him from returning. 

"I would've died right there with them," Bledsoe said. "They're that important to me."

The family had wet blankets wrapped around them when they were found, reports said.

"She wet a bunch of blankets and put them down at the side of the bed. She got a wet blanket and put one on her. Got over the top of them, and they lay there until the fire took them," Bledsoe told CBS Sacramento.

The death toll from the fires has hit six, including Bledsoe’s family. Two firefighters are also among those killed in the blazes.

An estimated 38,000 people were under evacuation orders with 5,000 homes threatened and the fire only 5 percent contained, The Associated Press reported Saturday.

A GoFundMe for the family has raised more than $22,000.

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