Santa Rosa police: Fountain Grove area was "site of some of the most harrowing rescues"

- Fire officials in Santa Rosa said that they did all they could when the fire roared over the hill from Napa County, but crews already stretched thin, could not stop the fast moving flames.

On Monday night, KTVU's Debora Villalon was in Santa Rosa, where the Hilton Hotel as well as the Fountain Grove Inn on the north end of town were destroyed.

With resources focused on bringing residents to safety, even city officials admitted it has been difficult to get details about the disaster.

Santa Rosa's mayor admitted he was seeking more information.

"I want to know how many people have died, how many people have been injured.. how many evacuated, how many structures have been lost. It's frustrating," said Mayor Chris Coursey.

As of Monday, Sonoma County's sheriff said he did not know details of the seven fatalities so far but said he expects the number to rise.

"There is no searching, there is no looking yet. There are a lot of burned homes, and a lot of burned areas, so it's just logical we will find more people," said Sheriff Rob Giordano.

First responders continued to help evacuate people, with no containment on the Tubbs fire that roared into Santa Rosa in the middle of the night.

It was a horrific and terrifying night for many people, including first responders.

Santa Rosa's acting police chief said his officers were pinned in by flames, even fleeing their burning patrol cars in the Fountain Grove area. 

"That was also the site of some of the most harrowing rescues last night... officers were going in and reporting they were surrounded by flames," said Chief Craig Schwartz.

Flames have engulfed huge swaths of subdivisions and commercial buildings.

Fire officials insist it wasn't because they didn't see it coming and try to muster all the support they could. 

"There was an even amount of resources dispatched to each of these incidents," explained Cal Fire Deputy Chief Bret Gouvea.

"When you have that many of them and that magnitude of them, obviously you don't have enough for the size of those fires," Gouvea said.

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