What’s supposed to be a homey bit of paradise on the water had to be doused with water Thursday as flames melted through a lifetime of memories seven times over.
Seven homes were destroyed and two damaged at Korth’s Pirate’s Lair in Isleton.
Luckily no one was injured.
Billy Ray was able to grab his iPad and a laptop before he ran from the same fate.
“My house is still safe, but…” he said, shrugging his shoulders.
After two years living at the Lair’s No. 32, Ray was one of dozens ordered to evacuate — many of them shielding themselves from air thick with smoke, ash and bits of their burning neighbor’s homes.
“Daughter over there … wife over there,” he said, pointing around the chaotic scene.
“It’s crazy. It’s sad … really sad,”said Madison Ragadanc, an employee at the resort marina’s cafe.
“It picked up liked a grass fire on the levy, and winds picked up right after that .. and it just took off like dominoes,” said Tom Tate, the marina’s harbor master.
Twenty-five-mile-per-hour winds helped throw bits of this fire ahead of itself, and crews fought it at every step.
That was not the only kind of challenge presented by this blaze.
One woman got separated from her husband when home propane tanks started to torch.
“When that happened, I went one direction, he went the other, ” she said.
As fiery hour burned into fiery hour, this three-alarm blaze taxed nerves as well as the resources available to put it out.
“We don’t have a hydrant system out here, so once our apparatus runs out of water, we have to rely on water from river drafting, which takes up a little bit of effort setting that up,” Assistant Chief of the River Delta Fire Department Jessie Rosewall said.
Part of the Pirate’s Lair was tapped to save itself, Tate said.
“Taking water from the pond and running it through the pumps and putting out the fires that are on the other homes,” he said.
In the end, families there are trying to focus on what they do have and not what’s melted away.