Former White Sox pitcher Ed Farmer barely escapes Southern California wildfire

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Former White Sox pitcher and radio announcer Ed Farmer said wildfire flames overtook his Southern California neighborhood, and he and his family were barely able to escape.

"I was thinking, 'You got to get out of here, you got to go,'" he said.

Farmer said he and his family barely escaped the heavy flames spreading through their Southern California neighborhood.

"It was very close to consuming our house and we were still in the house," he recalled.

The South Side native, former White Sox All Star pitcher, and radio voice said first his power went out and then his home was nearly engulfed in the blaze.

"We are lucky we made it out," Farmer said. "When we see where the fire was when we came was unbelievable."

Farmer, his wife, and daughter were all forced to evacuate after the wildfires took over their neighborhood. The family was still inside their home because they could not find any available hotel rooms in the area.

Farmer said he and his family grabbed a few things then drove down the 101 freeway, which was also surrounded by fire.

"I had a box there with my World Series ring and my All Star ring from 1980, and I go do I need this? I don't wear it ever... I'll leave it here," he said.

The Farmers still have their home, but others lost everything in the flames.

American Red Cross of Chicago and Northern Illinois has deployed volunteers to help the hundreds impacted by the wildfires.

"This is my first time going out in the field and experiencing something of this caliber," said Kelsey Smith, Red Cross volunteer. "The images that I have seen and the numbers that I have seen just show pure destruction."

Retired Chicago fireman and Red Cross volunteer Morrie Bowie deployed to California earlier this week.
After more than 20 years with Chicago Fire Department he is no stranger to the flames, but the destruction left behind hits the hardest.

"We would see what was in the aftermath, what trailed in our wake. Now, I get an opportunity to help
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