As the community searched for the whereabouts of two children and their great grandmother in the midst of the Carr Fire on Saturday, their family’s worst fears were confirmed. Emily Roberts, 5, her 4-year-old brother, James, and their great grandmother Melody Bledsoe, 70, were killed while trying to escape the quick moving fire.
The family confirmed the deaths with KCRA 3 on Saturday.
This now brings the death toll of the Carr Fire to five, with the passing of Fire Inspector Jeremy Stoke and 81-year-old Don Smith, a privately hired bulldozer operator.
Donald Kewley, the boyfriend of Bledsoe’s granddaughter, was on the phone with Bledsoe on Thursday, an she was screaming “It’s getting closer!” right before the phone went dead.
Kewley tried to drive to Bledsoe’s house near Quartz Hill and Keswick Dam roads, about two miles north of downtown Redding, but could get no closer than about half a mile before flames forced him to turn around.
The tragic loss of these five people will be felt in the community for a long time to come.
The Carr Fire is still moving fast, with over 80,000 acres burned and over 500 structures destroyed. The fire remains at 5 percent containment.