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Milford native evacuates Malibu home during deadly wildfires

MILFORD -- Connecticut natives are among those living in the California wildfire zone.

Laureen Nolan Sills, originally from Milford, moved to Malibu 32 year ago to work for the Grammy awards. But all of her family members still live in the Milford area.

"My generations of family grew up in Connecticut," said Sills.

In her decades of living in Malibu, she got married, raised three children and worked hard for her career. She has seen her fair share of wildfires, but nothing like the Woolsey fire, which has damaged hundreds of homes and taken the lives of three people.

"They’re 60 mile an hour winds with flames in them," said Sills. "You can’t survive that."

Early Friday morning, Sills evacuated her Malibu home. The drive took her more than 5 hours; it usually takes 40 minutes.

"You could see the flames coming over the hill," she said. "The entire city was on the Pacific Coast Highway. It was at a dead stop."

Days after the fires began, Sills discovered that her home has smoke damage.

"Nobody believes in climate change but come to California and you’ll see it," she said.

The wildfires remind her of her childhood along the Connecticut shoreline, where she would watch hurricanes roll in.

"I'd take the snow and the rain over this any day," said Sills.

She and her husband are going to rent a house closer to her husband's place of work.

"What happens after an event like this is the rains usually come," she said, adding that she and her husband are hoping to avoid the inevitable mudslides she expects after the rain.

Sills is also working hard to spread the word about donations.

"Malibu is a city of hardworking people," she said. "The people that have been affected by this fire are teachers, the rabbi... the principal lost her home, the vet lost his home."

If you would like to learn more about how you can donate to victims of the California wildfires, click here. You can also donate to the American Red Cross.

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