The recent California wildfires have killed dozens and displaced thousands. However, one couple managed to survive the blaze that devoured their entire neighborhood by seeking shelter in one of their neighbors’ pool.
While trying to flee their home on Sunday night, Jan and John Pascoe discovered that the fire had blocked their path to the main road out of town. The retired couple was resigned to returning to their home, but then remembered that one of their neighbors had an outdoor pool.
Jan, 65, and John, 70, waited as long as they could before getting into the 4-foot deep pool. But when the flames reached their neighbors’ home and a nearby tree, they had no choice but to get in the water.
They were able to walk to the part of the pool furthest from the house. But in the cold water, Jan and John still had to hug one another for warmth.
“I just kept going under,” Jan recalls. “It was the only way to survive. And I kept saying, ‘How long does it take for a house to burn down?’ We were freezing.”
After six hours in the pool, their neighbors’ house had burned down. But the fire around them had dispersed and the couple was safe and able to get out of the pool.
The Pascoe’s house also burned down. They also lost their cat, who ran away while they were attempting to drive out of town and hasn’t been seen since. But thanks to their quick-thinking and their neighbors’ pool, Jan and John escaped with their lives.
The couple is now staying with their daughter, Zoe, in San Francisco. Meanwhile, thousands of firefighters continue to fight California’s deadliest wildfires since 1933.