Fire in Malibu displaces families

by Chris Lawrence
CNN

Families were sound asleep when thick black clouds started blowing into their homes.

"We smelled smoke. It woke us up about 5, quarter-to-5 this morning," Carol Lang, a Malibu resident said.

"And all of a sudden we could see flames," Mickey Lang, another Malibu resident said.

Carol and Mickey Lang grabbed their dog, remembering how they survived a fire here 10 years ago.

"You know, you panic a little bit, but you just walk around a little bit and figure out what really matters to you and take it," Lang said.

In just 8 hours, the fire scorched well over 2,000 acres. It destroyed ten homes. Then twenty. Thirty. And more would continue to burn. Winds gusted up to 60 miles per hour, and brought a plane, helicopters and thousands of firefighters onto the front lines. Earlier this year in Malibu, a fire burned at least 5 homes, including one that belonged to actress Suzanne Somers. In October, a massive blaze burned for days - and destroyed another 6 homes and a church.

"Last month's fire, was uh, kind of a wake-up call," Lance Anderson, another Malibu resident said.

Lance and Jean Anderson got caught off guard last time, and couldn't grab what they needed. So Lance bought a trailer, and identified everything they couldn't afford to lose.

"We had a list, yeah, and we just went down the list and started grabbing stuff," Jean Anderson said.

Anticipating these fires a few years ago, the couple built a pool - and it's not just for show.

"That's what a lot of people do. Down in the canyon, we have signs that people have pools," Anderson said.