"That's the closest I've come to dying," Ham Pollard said.
The difference between life and death of Pollard was 45 seconds and some good fortune before his home of 50 years burned to the ground.
"It's like everything for me to escape was pre-arranged by the man upstairs," Pollard said.
First, the garage got stuck as he looks for an exit route. The 81-year-old Pollard then shimmied out of his partially opened garage.
Seconds later, his house was on fire as he pried open a burning it gate to escape. All the while, his garage began collapsing.
As Pollard and his family reflect on the most harrowing moments of the former Marine's life, they're also disgusted by a Facebook page that mocks victims and encourages people to start wildfires .
"Why would you think about wanting to start something like this?" Pollard's daughter, Gloria Alferes, told FOX40.
The family calls the page insulting, especially to those who lost everything.
"My father almost died. This is not a game. People are trying to make this a game," Alferes said. "If their house burned down, they wouldn't be on this page."
Still, their outrage doesn't overshadow their gratitude. They are thankful Pollard found a way to save himself in the face of such destruction.
Cal Fire said they are aware of the page, but declined to comment further.