Now, Braun isn’t sure where she will be going to school for the remainder of the year.
“When I heard that it had burned, it was kind of just a rumor. I didn’t know if it was true,” Braun said.
According to Braun, the school administration is working to get students back to school either through online or off-site classes, but there are no clear solutions. Students also plan to submit various assignments through Google Classroom and possibly meet once a week.
“I heard some of my friends in AP English got an email from their teacher and the teacher asked if anybody was willing to offer their house for a meeting, a study group, for their class because there’s nowhere else to go,” Bone said.
Some students might simply enroll in other schools.
"We want to be at Newman, but we’ll see.”
“A lot of people have been saying they’d want to go to this school or that school or whatever, but personally I’d hate to see my school split up because we’re such a close community and my grade is pretty close. We’re a pretty small school, so I’m close with the majority of the kids,” Braun said. “It would be pretty hard to be separated after something like this.”
Although large portions of the school are destroyed, Braun is hoping to return to the familiarity of her school.
“I hope the school can bring in portables and get rid of all the damage, and hopefully we can get back to school. We want to be at Newman, but we’ll see,” Braun said.
According to Braun, in a school of just over 600 students, their ASB is aware of over 20 students who have lost their homes to the fire. Although Braun did not personally lose anyone to the fires, she knows of peers who have lost loved ones.
“My friend’s elementary school teacher passed away [in the fire] and that’s been hard for her because she really loved that teacher,” Braun said.
"This is honestly bringing a lot of people closer together."
In the wake of the tragedy, Bone, who is currently living in San Francisco with a mutual friend of his father, feels the community has come together.
“I think that this is honestly bringing a lot of people closer together, people that are technically friends, but don’t really talk really much are all coming together, offering shelter, clothes,” Bone said.
According to Braun, GoFundMes have already been set up for families who have lost their homes.
“People from all over, like alumni, family and friends of students and faculty have been reaching out, saying that they want to help rebuild and want to help donate,” Braun said.
On Monday, Braun, along with ASB presidents from all across the Sonoma County School District, met to begin organizing a clothing drive.
“We have exact sizes for certain people and then we’ll either deliver it to their houses or set up a location where they can come and get the clothes. The school has been pretty supportive of those people,” Braun said.
On Tuesday, she met with other the Cardinal Newman ASB members to discuss ways of supporting affected community members.
Cardinal Newman also held a Mass Thursday night as a way to reconnect and reflect after the devastation.
“I know two teachers who lost their homes. I saw them at the Mass last night. For a Catholic school that’s kind of our place to come together,” Braun said. “Most of us are united in that we believe in God and everything happens for a reason, so that’s keeping us together and giving us hope for the future.”
Although Braun’s house was not damaged in the initial blaze on Sunday, her family has been prepared for days to evacuate their home for a second time, first leaving on Monday after a downed power line caused a neighbor’s house to catch fire. Braun woke up at 2:30 a.m. that morning to see the hills near her house bright red.
“We didn’t have power, so we didn’t know what was going on, if the fire was close to us, or who was affected. My friend called me in the middle of the night and told us we had to evacuate, get up and leave,” Braun said. “It was just awful, we had to drive through our street and it was on fire.”
Even with the possibility of a second evacuation, Braun’s family chose to stay in their home.
“We would prefer to stay here where our family and friends are community are, even though the air quality is bad, just because being together is more important,” Braun said.
On that same Monday, Bone awoke to a situation similar to Braun’s.
“I was half-asleep because I found out at 2 in the morning. I woke up to my step-mom telling me that we had to evacuate right away because there’s a fire coming at us. We left in a matter of five minutes. I just got out of bed, put sweats, a shirt on, grabbed my phone and some flip flops and nothing else,” Bone said.
Compared to the loss of lives in the community, the destruction of material possessions holds less significance.
“My dad reminded me of how lucky we are to have each other and nobody is hurt and that we can replace things like a surfboard and skis and cars and houses,” Bone said.
Six miles from Cardinal Newman, the 156-acre Paradise Ridge Winery sits in the Fountain Grove Development in Santa Rosa. The property was home to a multitude of both old and modern structures, but after the Tubbs fire swept through Santa Rosa on Sunday night, a sculpture garden and acres of singed grapes are all that remains. Owned by Walter Byck, the grandfather of senior Janneke Byck, and mainly run by Byck’s aunt and uncle, the winery has been nearly destroyed by the devastating flames. None of her family members were living on the property at the time of the fire.
"My favorite place in the world."
For Byck, the property, which was bought by her grandparents in 1978, captures the very essence of family.