Tom Welch has been fighting fires for more than 10 years.
He’s battled blazes as an engineer paramedic, a fire captain, a fire marshal and a battalion chief.
But none may have been as challenging as what he’s going through this week:
Welch, now the fire chief of the Mill Valley Fire Department, is coordinating his department’s response to the wildfires blazing through Northern California — even as the flames have laid waste to his own home.
In a statement on its website, the city of Mill Valley said Welch — a Santa Rosa resident — lost his home to the Sonoma and Napa fires.
His family is safe, the city said.
Mill Valley has set up a “YouCaring” site to help the fire chief and other affected families. The campaign has raised more than $36,000 already.
Over a dozen wildfires continue to scorch Northern California leaving more than 100,000 acres burned and over 1,500 homes and businesses destroyed.
At least 15 people have been killed in the wildfires.