A fast-moving grass fire in Gilroy late Monday afternoon gutted a home and sent residents fleeing to safety.
The wind-whipped fire began 3:30 p.m. in the hills near Watsonville Road and Highway 152, prompting evacuations from Farmer to Hecker Pass roads, Cal Fire said. Evacuees were directed to the parking lot at Bonfonte Gardens.
Within minutes, the blaze spread to a home in the foothills. A mother and her two young children inside the home narrowly escaped.
Terrified neighbors grabbed their garden hoses and said a few prayers.
"We did the best we could," neighbor Tom Valenti said.
Cal Fire sent out a call for mutual aid, getting as many firefights on scene as quickly as possible. Crews battled the blaze both on the ground and from the air.
Firefighters said all residents in the area were able to evacuate safely.
The California Highway Patrol also shut down Highway 152 at Redwood Retreat Road while fire crews battled the blaze.