Last weekend, UFC flyweight Henry Cejudo was attending a charity event in Santa Rosa, Calif., which largely no longer exists. Cejudo narrowly escaped his hotel after the Tubbs Fire roared into town and devastated the area. He told Yahoo Sports that he ignored an alarm around 2:00 a.m. before having to evacuate his second-floor room suddenly at around 4:00 a.m., when the fire was right outside and his room became smoky. The electricity in the hotel was out, so he opened the curtains to see the surrounding area on fire. He had to jump out of the window, leaving his Olympic gold medal behind in the fire.
“I saw houses on fire and I looked to my left and half of the hotel I was staying at, my floor, was on fire,” Cejudo said. “It was scary. And at that time, the only thing I could do was to grab my slacks. I grabbed my slacks I wore the night before, but I couldn’t see anything to do anything else. I put my slacks on, I opened the window and I jumped off. I leaped off the second story of the hotel.
“As I jumped off, I landed on a branch that was on fire. Honestly, there was fire everywhere. The fire burned the top of my right foot. I was OK, but I had to put the fire out that was on my right foot. And as I was walking toward the front of the hotel, where the lobby was, it was all going. I saw the hotel on fire, cars on fire, houses around it. It was terrible.”
Cejudo ran to Highway 101 in nothing but a shirt and flagged down a passing truck. As he said, “I’m just happy to be alive.” The San Francisco Chronicle initially reported that Cejudo had broken his ankle in the fall, but he later told MMA Fighting that he’d simply suffered burns on his right foot. Cejudo is scheduled to fight Sergio Pettis at UFC 218 in early December, and his manager said that the fight is still on schedule. Cejudo shared a detailed photo of his toe blisters and said that he was still on track to fight Pettis.
The wildfires in Northern California have killed 24 people so far, with over 450 people reported missing. Containment efforts are ongiong, but vegetation in the area is crispy thanks to years of drought, and officials have repeatedly characterized it as “explosive.” Current statistics have 3,500 buildings and have burned and 170,000 acres are currently on fire, though as with the death toll, numbers will fluctuate as fire crews continue to work the area and report more information.