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Wildfires devastate BYU students’ homes in California

Matt Kastner’s family was evacuated Sunday night. Kastner is a BYU student studying information systems. At about 3 a.m. on Oct. 9, Kastner received the news that his home had become engulfed by the flames. (Matt Kastner)

At 11:35 p.m. on Oct. 8, Matt Kastner received a text from his mom.

“Big fire on the hill is there anything you want me to grab from the house?” the text said. 

Kastner’s parents and his younger brother evacuated from their home on Atlas Peak in Napa, California, around midnight on Oct. 8. Through the course of the night, Kastner received updates from his parents that his home had been engulfed in the flames from the Atlas fire.

“They had to drive through the fire to get out,” said Kastner, a BYU student studying information systems.

Updates weren’t very consistent as the fire caused a power outage across Napa, but Kastner was notified that his dad drove back up the 5 mile-long road to their house to find their home in flames at…


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