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Golden Gate Estates resident vows to protect his home from fire despite advice to leave

With fires threatening homes and forcing evacuations, some residents say they don’t want to leave.

One man in Golden Gate Estates is vowing to protect his home.

Rodney Batcher was at work when he got the call his house could go up in flames. He says he knew that he had to get home as fast as he could.

“By the time I got home, it was already engulfed in flames,” he said. “Everywhere you looked there was an officer, fire truck, brush truck…it was pretty scary.”

Despite warnings to leave, he decided he wasn’t going anywhere.

“I wasn’t going to lose my house,” he said. “I have dogs inside and my life savings there, so I stayed to protect it.”

The good news — the flames didn’t get to his house. The bad news — a power pole caught on fire and broke in half, bringing power lines down.

So then, he started watering his property and looked out for hot spots.

“I stayed up all night with a hose,” Batcher said. “The fire department was here. They had it kind of under control until a gust of wind which switched directions.”

24 hours later, Batcher’s still watering.

“They’re still walking around with buckets, the wind is still really bad so I don’t know what today has to bring and I know all the firefighters have your hands full today,” he said.

But if there’s one thing he could say to these firefighters…”Thank you. I can’t say it enough.”

Batcher said every fire department he could name was out there fighting the flames.

He’s planning to keep on watering his property and will only leave if firefighters force him to.

Reporter:Michelle Mackonochie
Writer:Briana Harvath
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