Arash Daghighian woke up, looked out his Bel Air window Wednesday and saw a huge plume of smoke and fire burning across the canyon. He walked out onto the edge of his deck to get a closer look.
"All you could see was a solid ridge of fire all the way on the back end," he said. "It was unbelievable because it was so close. You could literally stand here and you felt the heat."
Daghighian was among residents in Bel Air who stayed during the evacuation due to the Skirball Fire. They are praising firefighters for keeping the fire from spreading overnight and finally getting a jump on containment.
Residents who stayed behind shared their stories Thursday of rushing to get out when the fire started moving up the canyon early Wednesday morning.
With the winds starting to pick up, they know they're not in the clear yet.
"I really thought it was a dream at first, but as the neighbor knocked on the door and said how quick it was moving, I thought this whole canyon is gonna catch on fire," Daghighian said. "Everybody’s heard the story about the famous Roscomare Fire that happened like 60 years ago when the whole canyon went up.
"I never thought it could happen here."
He feels good because his insurance covers fire.
He's amazed that firefighters were able to tamp down the fire.
"God bless the fire department for all that they do," he said.