A couple in California filmed their harrowing journey through a flame engulfed road to escape the wildfires that would end up engulfing their home.

Andre Epstein and Neda Monshat were woken in the middle of the night at 1:30am Monday by a neighbor in their ranch community in Mendocino County alerting them that a wildfire was coming over a nearby hill and quickly approaching their home.

The married couple would take an unexpected drive north during which they filmed the road they were on was almost completely consumed in fire for a 10 minute stretch, according to Daily Mail.

"It was just like a hell-scape," said Esptein.


The smoke was so thick they could only see a few feet ahead at a time.

"I was just worried the car was going to blow up," Monshat said to SFGate.

Epstein added that he repeatedly activated the windshield wipers, hoping the wiper fluid would somehow stop the car from catching on fire.

They had a better plan than the terrifying path they had to endure.

After grabbing their most precious things, including their dog Jango and their laptops they couldn't find their car keys.

The couple couldn't find their car keys. They were supposed to following their neighbors to safety- but waved them ahead as they all planned to meet at a location away from the raging fires.

Neda Monshat and Andre Epstein. Photo / Instagram
Neda Monshat and Andre Epstein. Photo / Instagram

"The worst part wasn't the drive," said Monshat to SFGate, "It was looking for the keys. We looked up every few minutes and saw the fire blowing towards us."

What Epstein and Monshat didn't know was the road they planned on using had become unsafe for driving- and their neighbors had taken a back road to escape to Eagle Peak Middle School in Redwood Valley.


"We wouldn't have considered that way. It's a remote road with several creek crossings. At times, you need four-wheel drive. We didn't even consider going that way," Epstein said.

"We just drove around for an hour or two where it wasn't burning, not knowing what to do, just sort of in a daze," said Monshat.

They decided to stay the night in a hotel. Since their Monday escape, the couple wanted to go back to see what's left of their ranch but the fire hasn't stopped and they aren't yet allowed to return.

"I think everyone from our ranch is still in a bit of a daze because we haven't been able to go back and really see it. Even though we know it's gone, it gives you a sense of finality to see it and we haven't been able to," said Epstein.

"Until then, we're in this kind of limbo."

"We want to live out there. That's the thing we keep thinking. We don't even care about the stuff. Everything can be rebuilt. It's all salvageable," Monshat said. "The thing you really miss is your life. You had all these neighbors around, people you see every day."

Epstein agreed. If the community decides to rebuild, they'll be there to help.

Epstein told DailyMail.com that they know for sure they won't have much to return to. "Unfortunately we lost our home."