Michella Flores

As a former firefighter and paramedic, Michella Flores has seen her fair share of emergency situations. But over the past couple of weeks she became a victim herself, and began to see things from a different perspective. She hasn't really slept in days.

Flores, who works as a flight attendant, was in Las Vegas on October 1, watching Jason Aldean perform at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when a gunman, perched in a suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, opened fire on the crowd, killing 58 and wounding hundreds.

Days later, after returning home to Santa Rosa, California, she and her parents were forced to flee their home and escape the wildfires that have devastated Northern California. The rental house is gone, along with all her parents' belongings, Flores told CNN.

"It's just a very helpless feeling," she said of the past couple of weeks. "I just thought, well, I've been in these situations before. It shouldn't be a big deal.

"But when it's happening to you, it's a whole different realm."

When she got off work, she headed to her parents' house, where she was staying during the process of moving to another house. As she was driving, she said, "I looked up and I could see the glow" of the fires. As a former firefighter, she knew it meant the fire was close, and the wind direction told her it could be coming right for them.

She told her parents they should probably start packing their things and left to take her dog to a park. Five minutes later, listening to a local fire dispatch, Flores heard crews mention the name of the road below her parents' home.

"I called my mom," Flores said, "and my mom screamed in the phone and said, 'It's at the bottom of our driveway.'" She turned back, arriving at the house right behind a fire engine.

Flores stayed on the scene to help firefighters protect the home, even as the wildfire devoured the neighbor's house. At 4 or 5 a.m., she said, the house was mostly intact, so she drove to Oakland to attend training for work while her parents went to an evacuation center. When she got off that evening, Flores said, "I went back and the house was gone. Completely."

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