The kindergarten Sunday school teacher of Skyway Assembly of God narrowly survived the Paradise, California, wildfire by hiding behind a boulder.
Paul Ernest and his wife Suzie, who is the Sunday school teacher, hopped on a four-wheeler with their neighbor as flames devoured their home. The couple reportedly then took shelter behind a boulder while the fire raged around them.
“They were on fire,” their son Jessee Ernest says. “My mom’s shoes burned off. My dad’s leather shoes burned. Cooked. Their pants were burned off from knees down.”
Paul reportedly covered Suzie with his body, but the couple still suffered serious, third-degree burns.
“I could hear Paul and Suzie screaming and I knew it was getting them pretty bad,” Neighbor Travis Wright says. “It was a terrible, terrible sound.”
According to an ABC affiliate, the couple was rescued when Wright was able to flag down first responders.
“Those guys are heroes,” Wright says. “They hopped on my quad. Went right into the flames.”
The first responders brought the Ernests to a helipad and airlifted them to the Burn Center at UC Davis.
Skyway AG was destroyed by the Camp Fire, as was First Assembly of God in Paradise.
“At this point, we still haven’t learned of any church members losing their lives in the fire,” Bret Allen, Northern California and Nevada district superintendent says, “for which we are deeply thankful.”
Jessilyn Justice @jessilynjustice is the director of online news for Charisma.
(Source: Charisma Media)