Coffey Park in Santa Rosa unrecognizable after North Bay fires

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- Dwayne and Pamela Van Halsema lived in Coffey Park with their three kids. In their home they shared meals and made memories -- and now it's gone.

"It's like a war zone -- like a bomb went off. I just feel lucky we got out," said Dwayne.

"There's no going back. We have to start over," Pamela added.

They, like so many others in Coffey Park, had only minutes to get out before the fire engulfed their homes. They escaped with the clothes on their backs and the phones in their pockets -- and that's about it.

"Life isn't going to be the way it was. And we just have to adjust if we want to rebuild our city," Pamela told ABC7 News.

Because Coffey Park sticks together -- that's what longtime residents told ABC7 News.

It's a place where kids set up stands on the corner, and brothers who moved away return to visit and skateboard through their old neighborhood.

Jay Buencamino captured some of the last moments of Coffey Park as he'll remember it.

"It's bittersweet," said Buencamino, a Coffey Park resident. "But we feel blessed we got the footage but it was hard to put it together."

Members of the Buencamino family lost several homes during the fire. They all say they'd like to return to the community one day.
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