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Redding Man Recalls Getting Call Before Carr Fire Kills Wife, Great-Grandkids

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - A grandmother and her two great-grandchildren were killed in the Carr Fire. Now family members are opening up about the frantic calls they got for help before tragedy struck.

For Ed Bledsoe, the phone call replays in his mind. His five-year-old great-grandson was desperate to get out of the family's home as the fast-moving Carr Fire closed in.

"He's saying, 'grandpa, please, you've got to come and help us, the fire is at the back door.'" Bledsoe said.

Emily, Melody and James Jr. were killed by the Carr Fire.

Bledsoe had stepped out to run an errand Thursday thinking the fire still miles away.

"I said 'I'm right by you honey. Hold on. Grandpa's coming,'" he said.

But the fire made the roads impassable and Bledsoe says couldn't get back home.

His wife, 70-year-old Melody Bledsoe and two great-grandchildren, five-year-old James Jr. and four-year-old Emily Roberts, died in the fire.

"My wife wrapped them up in wet blankets. She wet a bunch of blankets and put them down at the side of the bed. She got a wet blanket and put on her. Got over the top of them and they lay there until the fire took them." Bledsoe said.

Ed Bledsoe sad

Gary Baldwin lives next door to the Bledsoes. He saw the flames and evacuated from his home, but didn't get far when he too got a desperate phone call.

"I got down the road and I got a phone call from her. So I turned around" Baldwin said.

Baldwin battled the smoke and flames but the fire blocked his path just yards away from the house.

"My hair is singed, I got no hair on my arms, but yeah, it's just sad," he said through tears.

Baldwin said Melody was his friend, who he called his adoptive mom.

He's now left with fond memories of her and the kids he saw grow and play. Emily was just finishing pre-school, and James was as full of life, he said.

"Junior, He had his own little shovel and he would go to work with grandpa," Baldwin said.

Baldwin was staying in the Shasta College evacuation center as his home was also destroyed in the fire. But losing his property doesn't even compare to the pain he feels losing friends and neighbors he considered family, he said.

At least seven people are still missing in the Carr Fire.

The Carr Fire now stands at 98,724 acres burned. It's 20% contained.

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