(NewsNation) —Sassan Darian and his 7-year-old daughter were fleeing their home in Laguna Niguel, California, as a wildfire crept closer to their home.
As they stepped outside, embers began to rain down on Darian and his daughter.
“Dad, we’re on fire,” she said to him as the pair began to frantically pat themselves down to put out the embers that had stuck to their clothes.
He said they are fortunate to have all made it out alive, and he wishes his family would have evacuated 10 minutes earlier to escape the flames closing in on their home.
The family home was destroyed, he said. “Like standing on top of an ancient ruin,” Darian said.
“There was a bunch of columns still standing, but everything else was demolished,” he said.
When the fire was approaching, he looked out into a canyon as it neared and believed the family had about 20-30 minutes to gather their things before flames reached the home. Instead, it took only about five minutes before Darian felt the heat of the flames and knew they had to go immediately.
“When I felt the heat of the fire, that’s, you know, get out,” Darian said. “I rushed out with my daughter, went and grabbed my dad in the backyard because he was thinking if he had a hose he could fight fire or some embers or something. So we just rushed out as fast as we could.”