ONLY ON KRON4: Santa Rosa man braves advancing flames to save neighbors’ homes

 

SANTA ROSA (KRON) — KRON4 continues to hear stories of heroism.

Despite the destruction the North Bay fires have caused, it has brought many people together.

On Tuesday night, KRON4 is sharing the story of a Santa Rosa man who, despite the advancing flames, saved the homes of several of his neighbors.

It’s a story you’ll only see on KRON4.

On Tuesday afternoon, neighbors Valerie Burns and Sean Wilson met up for the first time since the fire forced them from their homes more than a week ago.

Valerie invited KRON4 to the reunion because she wanted to publicly thank Sean for saving her house.

“He’s my hero Yes, absolutely,” Burns said.

Valerie and Sean live next door to each other along Wiki Drive in northeast Santa Rosa. When the Tubbs Fire roared through their neighborhood early on the morning of Oct. 9, both fled the advancing flames.

Sean watched the fire from a few miles away.

The next morning, he walked back to his house, convinced he would find it burned to the ground.

With no water available, Sean grabbed a rake and shovel and spent the next 3 hours keeping the flames at bay. He went back and forth putting out spot fires and raking leaves.

When the fire had come within just a few feet of Valerie’s backyard, Sean spotted firefighters nearby and got their attention.

Valerie and her family were staying at a shelter in Healdsburg when Sean called them to say their home was saved.

“I couldn’t believe it. I really couldn’t,” Burns said.

And while Sean was able to save his house and several of his neighbors’ houses, he feels for those who have lost everything.

Valerie hopes that Sean’s actions will serve as an inspiration.

Now, unfortunately, Sean’s parents lost their home as well.

They lived just a short distance away from him.

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