NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A Kenner resident, originally from California, said his family lost everything in the Camp fire that destroyed the town of Paradise.
The images are devastating of entire neighborhoods gone. Bodies have been discovered inside homes and in cars along roadways as people tried to escape the flames. Charles Pruitt said his teenage daughter made it out OK on Friday (Nov. 9), but barely.
“She sent her mom a text, the road to Chico is on fire, we’re on the bus," Pruitt said. "Her and her friend decided to escape through the back door, opposite the direction of safety.”
Afraid for their lives, 15-year-old Baniah Pruitt and her friend ran through the fire. Baniah suffered burns to her face. They made it to the friend’s father’s home before evacuating to safety.
Baniah’s mom also evacuated, to a different shelter. Days later, they learned their home was gone.
“They had about 15 seconds to make the decision, and so this wasn’t a chance to observe days away or hours, this was literally seconds,” Charles Pruitt said.
Everything is lost.
“We’re in the process of getting Baniah some of the things she needs," Pruitt said.
Like so many others from Paradise, there are no more material things, let alone mementos. The Camp fire essentially wiped the town of 27,000 off the map.
“The needs of a 15-year-old girl, in order to make her feel normal, its rough right now," Pruitt said.
Pruitt is now working to get his daughter to New Orleans to live with him. Her high school and home are gone. But she survived, along with her siblings and her mom. For that, Pruitt said, he’s eternally grateful.
“I cannot wait to hold my daughter again, and just say a prayer, very thankful,” Pruitt said.
The Pruitt family has started a go fund me to help get Baniah the clothing and items she needs. To donate, click here.