Couple in RV rescues California fire victims as they flee flames

REDDING, Calif. – One couple’s escape from the flames in Northern California became a “happy band of vagrants” as their motor home became a rescue vehicle for several people caught up in the chaos as hundreds of residents fled the town of Paradise.

Jane Latham and Ed Van Der Linden found themselves rescuing people off the road Thursday morning as they tried to get away from the blaze.

Van Der Linden said he was getting ready to make a plate of eggs for breakfast when they got the call to evacuate from their home at an RV park in Paradise.

They grabbed their cat, Babou, and a few supplies and Van Der Linden got behind the wheel of their motor home. Jane Latham followed him in her car.

The Camp Fire initially started out as a report of a 15-acre fire, but quickly grew to several thousand acres as it churned through dry brush and trees, pushed by high winds. By Thursday night, the wildfire had grown to 20,000 acres and was still spreading.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said the fire had likely destroyed up to a thousand homes or more and fatalities were likely.

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