VIDEO: Alarming 911 calls during North Bay Firestorm released


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Alarming phone calls made to 911 during the deadly North Bay Firestorm have been released.

And they are dramatic, allowing us to hear how quickly the fire consumed Sonoma County.

The panic and concern are clear after listening to the 911 calls.

Sonoma County released all the calls made during the first 5 hours on the night of Oct. 8. And there are hundreds of calls.

The first call comes in at 7:25 p.m.–from a woman in Kenwood on Adobe Canyon Road.

“I am seeing some weird lights that could be sparks,” she said. “I am not sure if there is a fire or not.”

Not long after, callers report.

And with smoke alarms blaring, home security companies call in as do numerous people reporting seeing and smelling thick smoke.

By 1:30 a.m., the calls pour in, urgently asking for help.

The 911 center buzzes as operators calmly try to field the calls coming from all over the county.

“I am standing here. The whole hillside, everything is coming my way. The whole hillside is on fire it is huge,” another caller said. “It is coming over the hill. I can see it now. We have a major fire coming.”

In the first 24 hours, county emergency dispatchers handled more than 1,300 emergencies.

The audio is redacted to remove callers’ names and addresses.

The last call, in the first batch released by Sonoma County, is from a man trying to stop his neighbor’s yard from burning.

And he hangs up when firefighters arrived.



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