NAPA (KPIX) — With the Glass Fire still burning and growing in Napa County, the Embassy Suites hotel in Napa has become a home away from home for a lot of people.
Since the blaze ignited last Sunday morning, the fire has moved north toward the town of Angwin. Napa County fire chief Geoff Belyea said that, so far, firefighters have been able to keep the fire away from the heart of town.
“While we’ve been successful keeping the fire from impacting the community, we certainly don’t take lightly the fact we had to evacuate that community and essentially disrupt everyone’s lives up there but we had to do it,” Belyea said.
Many of those evacuated have found their way to the Embassy Suites in Napa including families with four-legged members.
“It’s very strange to be walking around a hotel with 20 dogs walking around in areas and all over the place because it’s one of the few that allows pets,” said Jeb Pickett whose father is an evacuee.
The people who had to leave quickly are still in a state of shock, not knowing if their homes are still standing.
Kelly Morris, an elder with the Angwin Village Church and an evacuee himself, organized a small prayer service for people of faith who may be questioning why all this is happening.
“And that’s the very reason I organized this meeting is to remind people that we can still have hope and trust in God and that the only thing that can happen is what he allows,” Morris said.
Morris says psychological studies show people who pray and trust in God tend to deal with crises and stresses better than those who don’t.
Candice Black moved to California just three weeks ago to attend Pacific Union College in Angwin. Although she had to flee, she says she came to Saturday’s service to celebrate her gratitude.
“Even though there’s still uncertainties and it looks bad up there we still have our life, we still have our health. So, there’s still things to be grateful for,” Black said.
Outside Les Carpenter sat in the bed of his pickup with his buddy Sam, an 82-year-old Amazon parrot. His home at Spanish Flat was destroyed in the Hennessey Fire a month ago. The first thing he grabbed on his way out was Sam. The two have been together for 20 years and Carpenter says Sam is taking the disruption in stride and even seems happy with his new surroundings.
“He actually sees more people now because I’ll bring him out here, I’ll bring him inside, bring him outside (and) people come up and talk to him.”