Actor Rob Lowe and his family – wife Sheryl, sons Matthew and John – fled their home in Montecito, California as a brush fire engulfed the mountain behind their house, with flames shooting 200 feet in the air. The fire started Thursday night and by Friday morning had scorched 1,500 acres, destroying many homes in the foothills of Montecito.
Reports detail more than 5,400 homes were evacuated and more than 800 acres were burned in just six hours. Multi-million dollar homes are nothing but smoldering ruins.
Rob and his family stopped to check on neighbours as they evacuated, and found them trapped behind their automatic car gate. Despite smoke and flames, Lowe managed to help them open the big gates.
He said, “Embers were falling. The wind was 70 miles an hour, easily, and it was just like Armageddon.”
Lowe’s home was not damaged but he said, as authorities have, that the winds could change direction at any time.
“It’s dead calm now, but if that wind kicks up it’s going to be trouble, there’s going to be no way to stop it.”
Other celebrities have homes in the area, including, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, John Cleese, Michael Douglas, Christopher Lloyd and Steve Martin.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in coastal Santa Barbara county. Although no deaths have been reported from the fire, a 98-year-old man died shortly after being evacuated to a nearby hotel according to authorities.