Woman survives Valley Fire at home with dogs

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A woman who never left her hilltop home on Cobb Mountain, even though flames roared right up to her backyard, survived the Valley Fire. She says no one told her to leave. (KGO-TV)

Signs of life are starting to return after the Valley Fire turned communities into ghost towns. Classes are resuming and some evacuation orders are being lifted, while acts of kindness are helping those in need. ABC7 News helped one Anderson Springs resident get in touch with her family after the fire raged on around her hilltop home.

Six days into this tragedy, most of the residents who've lost everything have not been allowed back in to see what their homes look like. Cal Fire says it's still not safe enough. The rains certainly helped, but it also made things slippery.

As the containment line grows, the cleanup effort after the Valley Fire is just beginning. Much of it focused on clearing the thousands of fallen and dangerous trees, some of which are still smoldering, that litter the burn area.

Still, the process of residents return to their homes to see what's left is still a ways off.

DONATIONS: How to help victims of the Valley Fire where you live

"It may look like the fire's out because there's no smoke and flames, but the potential of a hot ember from the wind or something getting ignited on the other side of the containment lines, that's what we don't want to do," said Cal Fire spokesperson Jeff Roberts.

Dana DeMartini never left her hilltop home on Cobb Mountain, even though flames roared right up to her backyard Saturday night. She says no one told her to leave. She's been there for six days with her dogs, fending for herself.

DeMartini: "If my son or my dad are watching, I'm okay," she said. "That's what I want to say I guess."
Anthony: "You haven't been able to reach anyone?"
DeMartini: "No, no one. No one at all. I've been stuck here with just my dogs and myself."

Though she has no TV or Internet, DeMartini is aware that her house, still standing, is among the very few like it in this part of the fire area.

"I feel very blessed, very blessed," she said. "I'm probably going to sell it after this, but yeah I feel very blessed."

ABC7 News did make some calls and got in contact with DeMartini's son to let him know she's okay.

In the meantime, Cal Fire says they hope to greatly expand the containment area. But there is some concern this weekend because of the gusty winds and higher temperatures that are expected.

Click here for full coverage on the Valley Fire.

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