The deadly California wildfire which has been raging since last Sunday has killed 31 people and has also destroyed the home of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz. His widow, Jean Schulz, 78, luckily escaped the fire, her stepson Monte Schulz reported on Thursday.
However, the split-level home on the hillside which the Schulz family had resided in since the 1970s, and which Charles lived in until his death in 2000, has been lost along with all of the memorabilia inside it.
“It’s the house he died in. All of their memorabilia and everything is all gone. The fire came by at, like, two in the morning.”
The Peanuts creator was a longtime resident of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County, California, and held a deep love for the area. In 1958, Charles Schulz and his first wife, Joyce, originally built their family home in Sebastopol, according to the Associated Press, and even the Santa Rosa Airport was officially given the title of the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport to honor the cartoonist.
Because Monte Schulz lives 300 miles away from his father and stepmother’s home, he had not visited it in many years, and he first found out about the house’s demise from his brother Craig, whose Santa Rosa home was also destroyed by the California wildfire.
Fortunately, Peanuts creator Charles Schulz was known to have done most of his cartoon work outside of the family home and in an outside studio, which means that the vast majority of his work has been kept away from the deadly flames of the California wildfire.
Much of his original artwork is now safely ensconced in the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, which is one Santa Rosa location which has so far remained unaffected by the fire.
WATCH: House of legendary “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz destroyed in California wildfire pic.twitter.com/hfXs0pkn5F
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 13, 2017
Despite the relative safety of Charles Schulz’s art, it has still been a bitter blow for Monte Schulz to have lost the family home, which was filled with so many happy memories.
“I had memories of being in that house. I never lived there but I visited all the time. That time of our lives is now completely erased.”
So far, more than 3,500 buildings have been destroyed by the Northern California wildfire, and 25,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes as firefighters continue to try and gain control over 265 miles of land, as BBC News reports.
As the deadly Northern California wildfire rages on, fans of the Peanuts cartoons have lost a little piece of history this week with the destruction of Charles Schulz’s home.
[Featured Image by Michel Lipchitz/AP Images]