SHASTA COUNTY, CA (CBSNews) – The Carr fire in Northern California exploded overnight.
Homes were still on fire Friday morning after a night of devastation in Shasta County, California.
The sun burned through a haze of smoke, revealing blackened cars and the charred rubble of houses.
“Devastating, homes were exploding, cars were exploding,” said Shasta County resident Tom Mahan.
Mahan ran into a burning neighborhood to help save the home of his friend, firefighter Donovan Lee.
“First thing that I seen was an RV trying to come out with all the evacuees. It was – you could tell he was driving frantic. And as he entered the intersection, he actually hit a sheriff squad car and drug it about 200 feet,” said Mahan.
“It was pretty intense,” said Lee.
Lee did save his home, hosing it down as flames surrounded him.
“There were a couple of times when I was thinking oh maybe this wasn’t a good idea,” said Lee.
“It just kind of makes me feel a little sick,” said Shasta County resident Judy Hein.
Hein lost the home she lived in for 18 years. She had enough time to gather some belongings.
“You need your important papers and you need this, but you just don’t want to stop there,” said Hein.
The fire killed one firefighter, who was operating a bulldozer, and one from the city of Redding.
Thousands have been evacuated and dozens of buildings were destroyed.
Eighty-eight wildfires are reportedly burning right now around the country.