By Susie Steimle

SANTA ROSA (KPIX 5) — As evacuees wait to hear when they can return home, many are left wondering if their homes are still standing.

Tensions at Santa Rosa’s 24 evacuation centers are running high.

John Tomblin with the Red Cross said, “It’s been challenging, chaotic, that’s what you typically expect.”

Thousands of people staying there have lost everything, others are left in limbo, unsure if their homes are still standing, but not everyone is feeling frustrated.

“It’s been great here,” said evacuee Mary Mullins. But don’t let her sunny disposition fool you, she’s lost just as much as the next evacuee.

Mullins lived on Flamingo Drive in the Journey’s End Mobile Home Park. It’s a place described as the epicenter of devastation. She no longer has a home.

“Ninety-five percent of the park is burned down. They said it’s like a bomb hit it,” Mullins said.

She says there was a moment when fire hit her home, she looked at her 90-year-old mother and thought ‘this is it’.

“My momma looked up and she said ‘I’m sorry’. I go ‘momma I love you’. We thought we were gone. Then, all of a sudden this gold car came up. They go ‘dive in.'”

She doesn’t know whose car it was, but a stranger saved their lives. Since then she says it feels like she got a second chance.

She loves the volunteers here, and the violinists offering free music.

“They are the best bunch of people in the whole world, they are,” she said.

But most of all, she’s thankful for the opportunity to move on.

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