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Hotels Booked Solid By Caldor Fire Evacuees

PLACERVILLE (CBS13) - As evacuation centers are filling up, so are hotels.

Placerville is bustling with many hotels there fully booked. Many evacuees from the Caldor Fire spent Tuesday finding a place to stay after being evacuated overnight.

"Everything is hitting us at once, there is nothing we can do," explained evacuee Melissa Gustafson.

Gustafson and her family of seven are a handful of the hundreds of evacuees leaving Grizzly Flats.

"We could hear the roaring of it in the distance. It was almost like a jet plane landing," she explained.

Her family was one of the last to book a room at Best Western in Placerville. Hours after settling in, she found out their house of 11 years burnt to the ground.

"I don't think there is any processing right now, everything is gone. You don't know what to do, you don't know where to go," she explained. "We lost the ashes to my husband's parents, every picture I had with my kids when they were little, everything is gone, said Gustafson.

Gary Girardi and his wife are also staying at the hotel and are still waiting to see if they have a home to come back to after watching security footage of their house overnight with fire trucks and police zipping up and down their street until the power went out.

"There's no app to tell you if your house is gone," said Girardi. "We heard that it's more gone than not, so we won't be surprised if ours is gone too," he said.

Evacuees are flooding the Placerville area, with some staying in church parking lots as others look for hotels. Holly Fukui, a manager at Best Western Plus Placerville Inn, said it's been emotional having to turn evacuees away because they have no more room.

"It's hard seeing guests come in and losing everything and not have a place to go, explained Fukui. "Turning someone away in a disaster like this --- it's very difficult to do for anyone. We have had to turn away at least 100 people started last night," she said.

It's not only hotels in Placerville, it's hard to find hotels anywhere in El Dorado County or in the vicinity, Fukui said.

"There is nothing available -- Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills, Rancho Cordova, going further west, most of the properties are sold out," she said.

The hotel is looking for other ways to help evacuees, including offering a free dinner for families.



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