Melody Bledsoe's husband, Ed Bledsoe, said he had gone to get supplies when his house caught fire.
The fatalities bring the death toll to five since the massive blaze started burning Monday about 100 miles south of the OR border.
The other three victims - 70-year-old Melody Bledsoe and her two great-grandchildren, 5-year-old James Roberts and 4-year-old Emily Roberts - died when walls of flames swept through the family's rural property on the outskirts of Redding.
Authorities have arrested two people on suspicion of looting homes that had been evacuated due to an explosive wildfire.
Two firefighters have also been killed in the blaze. More than 160 fire departments from California and around the country have been deployed to help quell the week-long blaze. The air is thick with the smell of smoke and chemicals, and the smoldering remains are still too hot to sift through. The Carr Fire that started Monday morning due to mechanical failure of a vehicle nearly doubled in the last 24 hours to about 126 square miles.
Firefighters on Friday were able to minimize any additional growth of the Carr Fire into Redding but the fire spread significantly on the north and sides. The boy said he had to come back to the home because the flames were closing in.
Redding Police Chief Roger Moore told CNN on Sunday his father's home also burned in the blaze, but his family has good support.
He said the fire behavior was so erratic, there were tornadoes within the fire "tossing around equipment, blowing windows out of Cal Fire pickup trucks". "I just keep seeing all of their handsome faces". "We're just trying to stay away from the fire". It was said to be at 10 percent containment.
California department of forestry and fire protection (CalFire) chief Ken Pimlott told reporters "This fire was whipped up into a whirlwind of activity" by gale-force winds, he said, "uprooting trees, moving vehicles, moving parts of roadways".
As of Saturday night, the fire was 5 percent contained.
As of Sunday, evacuation orders were lifted for Idyllwild and Pine Cove. It pushed southwest of Redding, about 250 miles (402 kilometers) north of San Francisco and the largest city in the region with about 92,000 residents, toward tiny communities of Ono, Igo and Gas Point. As the blaze roared west, residents of the Trinity County town of Lewiston also were ordered to evacuate.
California wildfires: Six killed as hundreds of homes destroyed
Bledsoe said even though the family was not told to evacuate, he feels more guilty than angry. The United Way of Northern California has established a Shasta County Fire Relief Fund. The blaze began as a small wildfire and erupted into a living hellscape.
Fire crews in Redding for a time abandoned any hope of containing the flames and instead focused on saving lives.
"It looked like a war zone, " he said. Hundreds of homes were destroyed and about 50,000 people were under evacuation orders.
When they returned Friday, virtually nothing was left but fine particles of ash. "I can't see how I can go on without them".
"It's pretty emotional", Terri Hill said.
"I said 'I'm on my way.' So I just throwed down everything and took off", he said. But we'll make new memories and get new stuff. On Sunday, their plea to the thousands who fled was markedly different: "Be patient about going home".
The fatalities included two firefighters and a woman and her two great-grandchildren.
She eventually jumped the curb onto a sidewalk and "booked it".
"The family that lives in town are all together mourning 3 fantastic souls", Woodley wrote. Despite the efforts of 3400 active fire personnel, the blaze is winning.
"Extreme fire conditions continue to challenge firefighters last night", Cal Fire said.
Corona wept as he thought of things they lost in the house.
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