Northern California

Apple Valley Woman, 75, Dies in Northern California Wildfires

Carmen C. Berriz, 75, of Apple Valley, died while trying to evacuate from the wildfires that devastated wine country.

A woman from Apple Valley died earlier this week while trying to escape from the wildfires that devastated northern wine country.

Carmen C. Berriz, 75, is one of the victims of the Northern California wildfires that killed at least 31 people as of late Thursday.

Carmen's daughter-in-law, Catherine Berriz, told NBC4 Carmen and her husband of 55 years, Armando Berriz, along with other family members, rented a hilltop home that overlooked the vineyards in Santa Rosa for a few days.

At around 1 a.m. on Monday, Carmen's daughter smelled smoke and looked outside the window and saw the glow of the fire.

Seconds later, flames reached their house. The family rushed to evacuate.

Everyone made it to the bottom of the hill to safety, except Carmen and her husband.

Catherine told NBC4 the couple jumped into a pool overnight to dodge the flames, struggling to breathe.

Family said the couple fought all night, but Carmen did not survive.

NBC4 reached out to Armando, who confirmed that his wife died, but he did not wish to comment on her death.

The couple has been married for 55 years.

State fire Deputy Director Daniel Berlant says collectively this is the deadliest series of simultaneous fires in the state in recorded history.

The blazes, most of them in wine country, broke out almost all at once on Sunday night.

NBC4's Jack Noyes and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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