Fire Victims Melody Bledsoe & James & Emily Roberts: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Melody Bledsoe

Getty Melody Bledsoe and her two great-grandchildren were found dead in the Carr Fire

It was a desperate search for Melody Bledose, 70, and her two great-grandchildren, Emily Roberts, 5, and James Roberts, 4, missing in the Carr Fire in California. But Saturday afternoon it was confirmed the three had perished after fire and rescue responders finished a search of the burnt Redding house.

According to CNN, the deadly Carr Fire almost doubled in size to more than 80,000 acres Saturday. The wildfire raced furiously through the city of Redding. Thousands evacuated but Bledsoe and her two great-grandchildren did not make it out.

The report said the fire was being fueled by high temperatures, winds, dry air and dense vegetation. During the night Friday, tens of thousands of acres burned and authorities have said just a small fraction of he fire is contained, CNN reported California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection confirmed.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Melody Bledsoe Called Her Husband to Hurry Home as the Fire Was ‘Getting Close’

Melody Bledsoe

A firefighter lights backfires during the Carr fire in Redding, California where wind-whipped flames tore through the region.

CNN reported that Melody Bledsoe called her husband and said he should hurry home as she saw fire “getting close.”

The San Francisco Chronicle quoted the children’s aunt, Carla Bledsoe hoping but resigned: “We are waiting for them to tell us what they need to tell us.”

Friday a search began for Bledsoe and the children. Family searched shelters and hospitals and shared posters and message on social media. But they gathered at the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Saturday and were told the three were dead.

A Facebook post of Bledsoe with a young boy from 2016. In her post she says she has the boy and Emily, she said, for an overnight.


2. Fire Officials Said a Dozen or More Are Still Missing. As a Community Meeting Was Being Held, New Evacuation Orders Were Issued For Redding

In addition to new and updated evacuation orders from Cal Fire, authorities said that as many as 12 or more people were still missing in the deadly wildfire that had doubled in size in a day. The evacuation orders are just that, orders and are mandatory.

Cal Fire slated a community meeting to update residents.


3. Two Firefighters Have Been Killed in the Ravaging Wildfire Including Redding Fire Officer Jeremy Stoke

Melody Bledsoe

A firefighter monitors a backfire while battling the larger Carr Fire on July 27, 2018 in Redding, California. The fast moving Carr Fire claimed the lives of firefighters and residents including Melody Bledsoe and her two great grand children.

As of Saturday afternoon, five are dead; two firefighters, one a private contractor and the other a Redding City firefighter and Bledsoe and her great grand-babies four-year-old James and five-year-old Emily.

Gov. Edmund G. Brown ordered state capitol flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of two firefighters who died while working the Carr Fire.

Redding Fire Prevention Inspector Jeremiah “Jeremy” Stoke and a bulldozer operator whose name has not been released.

“Anne and I were devastated to learn about the deaths of these two heroes who lost their lives while protecting their fellow Californians,” Brown said in a statement that was also posted to Twitter.

“We honor them and all the first responders who are working day and night to protect life and property as wildfires continue to burn across the state.”

Stoke, 37, of Redding, died while “working to ensure the residents of west Redding had a chance to escape the flames,” Brown’s office said.

Stoke began his firefighting career 17 years ago and was a 14-year veteran of the City of Redding Fire Department. Fire Inspector Stoke is survived by his wife, Alyson, son Caleb, 13, and daughter, Aubrey, 9.​


4. Gov. Brown Asked Trump for a Presidential Emergency Declaration for Direct Federal Assistance for the Carr Fire

Melody Bledsoe

A CalFire firefighter rests during the Carr fire in Redding, California. Melody Bledsoe, 70 and her tow great grandchildren, James, 4, and Emily, 5, were missing and then found dead.

In a letter to Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Brown asked for an emergency decalarion for federal aid right away. Brown said the federal assistance is needed to “further support the communities impacted by the Carr Fire in Shasta County.”

“Supplemental federal assistance is necessary to save lives and to protect property, public health and safety, and to lessen the effects of this imminent catastrophe,” said Governor Brown in the letter. “I am requesting Direct Federal Assistance, including Department of Defense air assets to immediately mitigate the impacts of this fire; shelter supplies and water for 30,000 evacuated residents in Shasta County; U.S. Department of Agriculture’s assistance in evacuating large animals; mass care; evacuation assistance for individuals with access and functional needs; and ambulatory transport.”

The Carr Fire broke out in Shasta County during exceptionally dangerous fire weather conditions, including extremely hot temperatures, low humidity and erratic winds. These conditions have caused the Carr Fire to grow uncontrollably, causing widespread destruction and at least two fatalities.


5. The Roberts & Bledsoe Families Searched & Searched & Held Out Hope

Melody was at her house on Quartz Hill Road in Redding with Emily and James when they were ordered to evacuate but the family was not able to find them at shelters or hospitals. In social media posts, Melody’s husband Ed said, “I want God to help me out, help me get em. I just don’t see how I can go without them. Somebody has to know where they’re at.”

Melody’s grandsons Jason and Donald posted a collage of pictures in the hopes someone would find their niece, nephew and grandmother somewhere safe.


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