SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- While fighting the Glass Fire, a Santa Rosa firefighter lost his own home, which he had purchased just days before and had not yet insured. Now the community is fighting to help him and three other families.
"When we got up here, I could see the first structure over there was my brother's house that had burned," said Santa Rosa Fire Captain, Mike Musgrove.
He explained what it was like to drive up to his property after the Glass Fire burned through Saint Helena Road in Santa Rosa.
"Right here would have been the front door," he said as he walked towards what would have been his house, now a large mound of ashes and rubble. "That was gonna be where we started this project, this dream that we had."
Mike, his brother, and two other Santa Rosa families pooled their savings to buy the 37-acre Sonoma County property at auction, seen in photos before the Glass Fire hit.
Musgrove says they closed on Friday Sept. 25.
"The weekend comes, our number one priority was to get insurance on the property on Monday, and so the fire hit Santa Rosa Sunday night, I went into work."
While Musgrove was evacuating Santa Rosa seniors and protecting homes in Oakmont Village, his own home, which he had owned for just 48 hours, was burning nearby.
"The swing of events that happened, it's heartbreaking to say the least."
Musgrove was inspired to buy the property and really start a new kind of life, because of his oldest daughter, Olivia, who passed away unexpectedly one year ago this week.
"After Olivia's passing I wrote down things on a white board," he said. "At the top of it, it's to be more patient, to lead with my heart, and be more compassionate. That's kind of the theme of what we wanted to build up here."
All the property owners are single parents. Musgrove's daughter Ava is 17, and was looking forward to a fresh start on Saint Helena Road.
"The saying is take it one day at a time, but sometimes it's one hour at a time, one minute at a time, just to get through and keep moving forward."
Musgrove wants to rebuild, but estimates there's more than a million dollars of uninsured damage to the property.
"We're always the ones out there in the community helping others, sometimes it's us that need the help," said Musgrove.
Having trouble viewing the map? Click here to open it in a new window.
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Track wildfires across Bay Area, California with this interactive map
- What we know about the fires burning in the North Bay
- Map shows wineries, landmarks destroyed by Glass Fire
- LIST: Wildfires prompt evacuation orders & warnings in Napa, Sonoma counties
- Track air quality levels impacted by smoke from wildfires
- Video shows smoke, flames in wine country as Glass Incident, other fires rage
- VIDEO: Enormous plumes of smoke, orange haze from Glass Fire in North Bay
- Video shows massive destruction from North Bay Glass Incident Fire
- WATCH: Staggering footage shows lightning storm that started complex fires
- How to prepare for a wildfire evacuation
- Comparing the 10 biggest wildfires in California history
- Most destructive California wildfires in history
- Camp Fire is deadliest wildfire in California history
- How are wildfires started? A look at the causes of some of the worst in California history
- Safety tips to remember when returning home after wildfire
- How to prepare your pets in case of disaster
- The difference between containing and controlling a wildfire