MADERA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Several families picked up the pieces Tuesday night after a grassfire broke out behind their homes in Madera burning them to the ground.

It happened in the area of 1600and 1700 of Riverview Drive.

“I was yelling at him to get out of the back yard dad let’s go, dad lets go,” said Christin Schooler.

Christine Schooler said it was a rush against time when she saw smoke coming from her father’s home.

“I immediately looked at my 16-year-old and went I’m going to grandpa’s put on your shoes and let’s go,” added Schooler.

 “When we arrived on scene we only had an 8th of an acre but then the winds picked up to about 20 to 25 mph gusts,” said Battalion Chief Anthony Garcia with Madera Fire.

Schooler lives only a couple of blocks away, she said she scrambled inside her father’s home but couldn’t find him.

“The neighbor came through the front door, he was like you need to get out of the house and I went my dad is in the back yard…he went there and got my dad,” she added.

Moments later the house was engulfed in flames. Schooler says that an unknown neighbor, a man she’s never met made his way through the home and pulled her dad out.

“By the grace of God he came over and saved my dad. I still have my father, but you cant put feelings into how much you just lost,” she adds. 

Madera fire said that the fire started in the Fresno River where they say homeless people are known to camp.

“The river does have a lot of brush in there and that brush component with the winds and the fire just really pushed it into these houses,” added Garcia.

Officials say four homes were affected by the flames, two of them a total loss, and about 23 customers lost power in the area. 

Schooler said she’s thankful, that neighbor she still does not know by name was there to help.

“No one should go through this. I feel like I owe him a lot seriously I lost my grandmother in 2020

I can’t bare to lose my father” said Schooler.