Bill Lee is thankful to be alive despite losing his retirement money dream home to the devastating Apple Fire that injured three people, destroyed four structures and scarred 33,000 acres in Cherry Valley.
The wind-driven flames from the Apple Fire had just ignited July 31 when Lee and his wife barely made it out of their Cherry Valley neighborhood alive.
"When I escaped from these steps there was already fire around my yard," Lee said.
Lee says he and his wife used their retirement savings to pay $400,000 in cash to buy the home and another $100,000 to renovate it.
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Lee is grateful for the support he and his wife are getting from family, friends and strangers who have been donating everything from food to clothing through a gofundme account.
He hopes they'll one day rebuild.
They were in the process of getting an insurance policy. So they didn't have any fire coverage.
The couple, who moved from South Carolina, lost just about everything, including Lee's favorite car, a convertible Lexus.
They're thankful to family, friends and strangers. They have a gofundme site.
He has a message:
"I'd like to say thank you so much -- all my friends and church members and Cherry Valley town people."