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Deadliest Fire in CA History: Remains Found in Burnt-Out Cars Tell Tragedy of Attempted Escape


The California wildfire disaster is now the deadliest in state history. The death toll rising overnight to 44, with 42 of those people killed in the so-called 'Camp Fire' raging in Northern California.

The search for bodies in Northern California tells the terrifying story of the victims' attempts to escape. Rescue personnel have been finding the dead in or next to burned-out cars, apparently overcome by smoke and flames before they could get away. 

"I'm surrounded by fire, I'm surrounded by fire right now, I don't know what to do," one woman said in panic on a cell phone video as she tried to flee the flames.

"It was just constant explosions...cars are trying to go around the side and bursting into flames and people are getting out of their cars and running down the middle of the road," Allyn Pierce said of evacuating Paradise, California.

Authorities continue to search through the burnt shells of homes and vehicles in Paradise looking for the more than 200 people who are missing.

"It's gone. It's... everybody I know lost everything," said Brad Weldon, as he surveyed what was left of his neighborhood. He is one of the few people who refused to leave Paradise. 

Somehow his house was spared, but 90 percent of all the homes in the mountain town are gone.

Meanwhile, in Southern California, firefighters are gaining ground on the Woolsey Fire, but heavy winds are still a major issue and crews are stretched thin.

"It hits home on the fact that we are still in significant fire weather and the existing fire is not our only concern," said Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen. 

Celebrities were among the hundreds of thousands forced to evacuate southern California, and they're also among those who are now returning to find their homes completely destroyed.




Across California, there are more than 8,000 firefighters battling these wildfires and trying to save as many homes and structures as possible. 

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