Family drive through flames escaping California wildfire that has left 9 dead

Footage captured the terrifying moment a family drive through a blazing inferno to escape the California wildfires that have left nine dead.

Brynn Parrott Chatfield filmed his family’s heart-stopping escape from the town of Paradise, as towering flames and dense smoke envelop their car.

A woman can be heard saying a prayer shortly before the family safely emerge on the other side of the inferno.

At least 150,000 people have been forced to evacuate the area after fearsome flames raged across California on Friday.


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The Paradise fires are one of two wildfires currently engulfing the state, along with a conflagration across Malibu and Woolsey.

Nine people have died and three firefighters have been injured.

Five of the victims died in their cars while trying to escape the fire in Paradise, which has grown to more than 110 square miles after quadrupling in size overnight.

Both fires – which have destroyed more than 6,700 homes – are said to be moving fast, accelerated by strong winds and dry forests.


The fire in Woolsey broke out near Thousand Oaks, where just days earlier a gunman opened fire in a student bar, killing 12 people.

The blaze has forced thousands to evacuate their homes in the Malibu area, including celebrities Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga.

In Paradise, in addition to the five people found dead in their vehicles, many were forced to abandon their cars and run for their lives down the sole road through the mountain town.

The death toll is expected to climb, said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) spokesman Scott McLean, because flames have blocked search and rescue crews from looking for victims in destroyed homes.

"The only reason they found the five is because they were still on the road," McLean said.

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